Forward in Faith #34
Consider Him …
Let’s get right into our text today as we continue in our Study in Hebrews
READ Hebrews 12:3-6
Consider – analogizomai - an-al-og-id-zom-ahee = To reckon up, to consider carefully in a way of comparison
It kinda looks like the word “analyze” doesn’t it.
It’s in the “imperative tense” which means that we are being commanded, exhorted, to take action …
So look to Jesus
If you are looking for the answer to life it is found in Jesus
If you are looking for hope look to Jesus
I don’t care what you need, Jesus IS the answer
And so, after looking at the cloud of witnesses and considering them, and realizing that we are running a race, with our eyes fixed on Jesus as our starting and finishing line, we are told to consider Jesus.
We like to compare don’t we? We comparison shop. We compare our yard to someone else. We compare salaries, we compare our lives to someone else’s.
“I’m better than they are …”; I’ve got it worse they do …”; “My sacrifice is greater …”
Or, when we are in a struggle, or depressed we think, “no one has been through what I’m going through.”
Anyone here thought about giving up this week?
Anyone ever feel alone, lonely, or that no one understands or can relate to you?
Ever feel like they are out to get you?
Well, Consider Jesus with me for a few minutes today
Remember from last week that He traded the joy he already had in Heaven for the cross and shame. Remember that in his victory over sin and death through the cross and resurrection he achieved a greater joy. He sat down at the right hand of the Father, with his task finished …
You remember last week we talked about being in a race and that Jesus is our starting line and that Jesus is our finish line … but I want us to think about the concept of what we do in the meantime? What do we do while we are in the race? Remember we need a pace runner. Jesus told his disciples that when he left he would give to them the Holy Spirit and that he would teach us all things and lead us into truth and remind us of everything that Jesus said. In other words, the Holy Spirit acts as our pace runner. If Jesus is our goal, his job is to keep point us to our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
So Consider Jesus with me.
1. Consider His Life
When we are facing trials in this life, we need to Consider that we have a Savior who is outside Time.
Jesus was there before the challenge you are facing
John taught us in his Gospel, chapter 1:1
In the Beginning was the Word
With God and He Was God
A. An Ancient Lord
Consider Jesus. When did he begin? Never When the world began, he already was. His life is infinite.
Where did the challenge you face today start? Can you take it back to the beginning and find that Jesus was there before the beginning?
You will never hear Jesus say “How did this happen?” Or “when did this happen?” He knows and he can take you back to the beginning and take you toward the end that we have in Christ Jesus.
He is also an …
B. Associated Lord
John taught us that Jesus was in the beginning but he was not alone, he was WITH God, That is with the Father and he was with the Holy Spirit. He part of the Godhead Trinity. He was with them in Genesis 1 when all was created. They were there in Genesis 3 when man sinned and in chapter 11 when they confounded the tower builders at Babel. We saw Father, Son, and Spirit in the Jordan when Jesus was Baptized. Finally we see them in Revelation 1. Jesus Christ is part of the Triune God, three and yet still one. There is none like him,
And yet in spite of that he was willing to be associated with us. He became a man.
Born in impoverished surroundings; raised in Egypt and then Nazareth. He had wisdom that confounded the teachers. He grew up and faced every trial and temptation, struggle and difficulty that we will face, yet without sin.
He didn’t stay far off but he became directly acquainted with our grief
V3 says he endured opposition –
- 1. Jesus family opposed him –
they didn’t believe in him before the cross and resurrection. They came at times trying to take him home. They challenged the authenticity of his mission.
- 2. He saw opposition from his own colleagues –
When Jesus told the disciples of his coming death, Peter said “not gonna happen” … Jesus said “get behind me Satan
Judas, one of his disciples and closest friends questioned his receiving of honor from a woman who poured out perfume on Jesus’ feet and then betrayed Jesus into enemy hands
Pharisees, religious leaders who should have embraced his mission instead rejected him, called him the son of Satan.
- 3. He had opposition from Sinful men.
Most of those Pharisee and Sadducee leaders were not true followers of God but simply men who used people for their own benefit. Men who used fear and pressure to inflate their own egos they were men who said all the right prayers attended all the right services, and knew all the right things but they opposed the Son of the King, Jesus Christ. They opposed the son of the owner of the vineyard … Ultimately they encouraged pagan sinful Roman rulers to see to his death on a cross shedding his blood for our sin.
And what did Jesus do in the face of opposition?
He "Endured" – hupomeno hoop-om-en-o = to remain, tarry behind, to not recede or flee
As Lord of the universe he could have ended it. He could have called 10,000 Angels to his defense … but he endured opposition for a greater glory and good
Associated with God and man
C. Almighty Lord
Returning to John’s words in his Gospel
He was in the Beginning, he was with God … he IS God and ALL things were made By Him …
He is our Mighty Omnipotent God, Consider Jesus
He has all the power you need
He is the Ark by which we will survive God’s wrath on sin
He is our deliverer from the bondage of sin into the Promised Land
He is the one who leads us to a victorious life in the life of Promise he has provided
He is David’s Shepherd that will not let us be in want
He is Ezekiel’s wheel within a wheel whose eye is on those whose eye is on him
He is the promised Messiah
In John’s Gospel, he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World 1:29
He is the ladder from Earth to Heaven 1:51 like Jacob saw in Gen. 28
He is the new Temple by which God dwells with man 2:19-21
He is the giver of new birth 3:4
He is the serpent lifted up 3:14
He is the Bread provided by God from Heaven 6:35
He is our complete Lord and we should fear him as God, Man, Savior, and Lord; we should Fear Him, but more we can trust him with full confidence
He creates all things thus rules all things
This creation is subject to him and we must consider him
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
This word CONSIDER again means to COMPARE. It means to lay something down alongside another and compare. If we are going to live this life, run this race, we need to compare our life to the pace life. You say “but I can’t keep up with Jesus” … you are right, but the Holy Spirit lives within you therefore 2 Peter 1:3 says that you have EVERYTHING you need for Life and Godliness … Because of the Holy Spirit … you have what it takes to live this life … 2 Peter 1:4 says “to participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”
2. Consider His Word
We are considering Jesus because God is trying to get us to Come in line with Christ
We are to daily lay our lives down alongside God. As you do, do not lose heart with what you see. If we look at Jesus and look in the mirror it can be overwhelming and discouraging but our writer quotes from
Proverbs 3:11,12 - Do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you because the Lord disciplines those he loves and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son
Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says “come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke up on you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I am reading a book again by Christian Professor of Philosophy, Dallas Willard from UCLA. “The Divine Conspiracy” … it is a deep and challenging, even troubling book to read. It is not LIGHT reading by any means. Oh but it is rich. And he challenged me this week. He asked the question why do we not place intellectual and educational value in Christ and his word.
He observes about Jesus “Jesus Christ is automatically disasociated from brilliance or intellectual capacity … He is looked on as a mere icon, a wraithlike semblance of a manf, fit for the role of sacrificial lamb or alienated social critic, perhaps, but little more. … Would you trust your life to such a person?” (Dallas Willard – The Divine Conspiracy p 134)
Then he says “What lies at the heart of the astonishing disregard of Jesus found in the moment-to-moment existence of multitudes of professing Christians is a simple lack of respect for him. He is not seriously considered …” (Ibid p135)
In other words what he is saying, is that we look to learn things in many ways but we don’t really go to Christ to learn. It is as if the reality is that we don’t, in our actions, show that we believe we can LEARN from Christ. Oh we will come to Jesus or to church to feel better, or to act better, or be more moral or ethical. But when it comes to our job, our house, medicine, engineering, our car, marriage, we want to see the “experts”. Folks, God put some smart people here and gifted them to help us with those things. But if the person you are seeking for their help doesn’t know the Lord and Creator of all. If they don’t consider Jesus …they don’t know what they need the most. I don’t care what you need, are worried about, are facing, what needs to be created, or recreated, the one you need to turn to is the one who “through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that was made” John 1:3
And he says “come to me …Learn from Me”
Consider Jesus FIRST; Not Consider Jesus last
If nothing else works; If there is room; NO …
What has he said to us?
“I know the very hair on your heads … I know when one sparrow falls and you are worth more than sparrows” – Mt 10:30-31
“I know the plans I have for you … plans with hope and a future” Jer 29:11
“I will never leave you or forsake you” Josh 1:5
“I go and prepare a place for you …I will come back … so that where I am there you will be also” John 14:3
“Come to me All who are weary and heavy Laden and I will give you rest” Mt 11:28
But where does the rest come? It comes as we take up his YOKE … and LEARN from him … what does that mean?
It means to get in the harness with Jesus. It means to plow WHERE he plows; How he plows; When he plows. He is in Charge, he is leading, he is doing we are joining and learning
So Consider Jesus in his Life and his Word and
3. Consider His Ways
You know Isaiah, in Chapter 55 of his book, records the words of God who says
My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways … 55:8
as high as the heavens above the earth so much higher are his ways from ours
But when we consider a God like that which Isaiah 55 reminds us that everything God does finishes its purpose … and so in that chapter he says
V1 - Come all who are thirsty
V2 – Listen to me
V6 Seek the Lord while he may be found
V7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil his thoughts Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him and to our God, for he will freely pardon
Then he says “for my thoughts are not your thoughts”
People we must not forget that the heart of man is wicked above all else, it is deceptive; And when we operate on our own ways our own words, our own strength we don’t get what we are looking for. We can’t endure trouble. We can’t endure hardship.
Even the loving hand of God’s discipline wears us out. When we do it our way.
Consider Jesus …
you say “but Pastor He’s Jesus”
Well yeah … but he didn’t come to this earth, live his life, ENDURE the opposition,
Endure the suffering, endure the beating, the cross of Calvary to LEAVE us as we are!
He didn’t experience our life first hand that he might just say “isn’t that a shame.”
The writer says “in your struggle … you have not shed your blood” referring to the sacrifice of Christ, you haven’t died. Well of course that was true for the specific people he was writing to. He spoke with firsthand knowledge of the real people he was writing to. However he knew and we know that many believers who have read these words and most likely some of THOSE … DID give their lives for Christ. And they would be the first who would line up and say “Hang in there”; “It is Worth it”
Lay your life down alongside Jesus
Lay your struggles, you successes, your victories, your hurts, pain lay it alongside Jesus. WHY? V3 says So that you will not grow weary and lose heart
Kamno = wearied, sick, faint, weary or sick in SOUL, discouraged
Or LOSE HEART
Psuche psoo-khay =breath, vital force of life, soul, wanting to kill or die
We have to consider Jesus so that we will not come to the point where we won’t just want to lie down and die, to give up to become soul sick
Maybe you are already there
LOOK AT JESUS
Having done all He did you can make it, you can do it
Consider Jesus and don’t lose heart
2 Cor 4:7-9 we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not us 8 we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Then 2 Cor 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal
What is the UNSEEN that we are fixing our eyes on?
Jesus Christ and HIS Reward for us!
How do we put this into practice?
- Lay it out
If you are going to compare things you have to lay them down beside each other.
If Jesus says
“Take My Yoke Upon You and LEARN From Me”
Then let me ask you … open up your planner, your blackberry, your calendar and ask the question, WHAT is teaching me?
What/Who am I learning from?
Are Facebook and my Friends my teacher?
Is Charter Cable my teacher?
Who is teaching my children?
What do you mean Pastor?
Well what we give our time to is what is our teacher.
Yes we have jobs and yes our kids have school and everything
But what are our priorities?
I am NOT telling you what to do today, I am resisting that because I don’t want you to lay down next to me but compare to Jesus
Now, we provide things for you folks
We have Bible study for all ages on Sunday morning at 9:00
We have worship and preaching at 10:15
We have student and awana opportunities on Sundays at 5:00
We have Adult In-depth Bible Study on Wednesday Night at 6:30.
And if you aren’t taking advantage of those opportunities it’s like losing a great opportunity to learn from him.
But that’s not all you can do.
- You do have to take ownership through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and make opportunities to learn from him.
- Lay your expenses report / bank statement down next to the Word of God and compare it to Jesus
- Lay your leisure down consider Jesus
Well folks I really need to wrap this as I’m trying to be encouraging as well as practical. But can I tell you that when we consider Jesus and give him consideration and free reign in our lives he can transform our lives
Let me remind you of something I’ve told you before
If Abuse is the FIRST Word, Let Jesus Final Word and your final Word can be Adored
Bankruptcy your First Word - if Jesus is your final Word, then you can be Blessed
Is Cancer your Word - with Jesus your final word can be Cured, here or in his presence
Divorce your current Word - through Jesus, the final Word can be a 50th Anniversary Date
Empty your Word? - Jesus Makes it Exuberant
Famine your Word? - Jesus makes the final word a Feast
Grief your Word? - through Jesus the Word is given the gift of comfort
Hate dominate your Life? through Jesus the Final Word is a Heart of Love
Irreconcilable in your vocabulary? the Final Word is Intercede
Justice dropping in on you? the Final Word of Jesus is Justification
Kicked out of School is the first Word? Jesus turns it into the Kicking up your heels at a graduation party
Is Lay-off your first word? With Jesus just the Labor Pains of a new beginning
Materialism dominate your life? Jesus makes the materialist a minister of God's gifts
Naysayers all around? Jesus the final word is your number one fan
Ostracized? Jesus' word is an Open door
Labeled as Picked LAST on the Playground? With Jesus the final word is that you were Picked FIRST by the Creator of Heaven and Earth
Unqualified is the first Word? in Jesus it is Qualified
Ridicule the norm? In Jesus the Word is Resounding Praise
Suffering all too familiar word? the Final Word with Jesus will be Strength
Termination hit you hard or looming on the horizon? the Final word in Jesus is Threshold of Opportunity
Uneducated the cursed word of your life? the final word through Jesus can be Understanding and Wisdom
Victim your First Word? When Jesus is Your Final Word the word is Victor
Want as your first Word? Final can be the Wealth of God's Grace
X-rays show something you fear? for Jesus the word is Expectation of God's Hand
Yielding to God a scary word? but the final word is the Yield of a Great Harvest
When Zero hope is today's word? in Jesus tomorrow brings the Zephyr of God's Blessing blowing