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Faithlife

Jesus Loves All People

JESUS IS ENOUGH  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

Some Greeks Seek Jesus

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

He turns rivers into a desert,

springs of water into thirsty ground,

34  a fruitful land into a salty waste,

because of the evil of its inhabitants.

35  He turns a desert into pools of water,

a parched land into springs of water.

36  And there he lets the hungry dwell,

and they establish a city to live in;

37  they sow fields and plant vineyards

and get a fruitful yield.

38  By his blessing they multiply greatly,

and he does not let their livestock diminish.

39  When they are diminished and brought low

through oppression, evil, and sorrow,

40  he pours contempt on princes

and makes them wander in trackless wastes;

41  but he raises up the needy out of affliction

and makes their families like flocks.

42  The upright see it and are glad,

and all wickedness shuts its mouth.

43  Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;

let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

Intro:

How has God filled you to overflowing this week? As you were Abiding, BLESSing, and doing community? In what ways has your relationship with God overflowed into someone else’s life?
Over the course of this morning I’m going to share with you a number of ways that Jesus has overflowed into others in my life this week.
One of the points that Glen made last week that really stood out to me was that “woman of the city” HEARD about what Mary had done for Jesus (washing his feet and anointing with oil) and she acted on it.
Because of the passion that Mary had God overflowed into this woman's life and helped her to understand that Jesus would accept her and love her.
I want to give you a heads up, I’m going to be talking a lot about youth ministry today. Not because I want all of you to do what I do, but because that is where God has called me to minister at this time and that is where I am experiencing him.
As I do my ABC’s, God is doing what he does.
I’m going to tell several stories today and my purpose of sharing these narratives is just to share with you what God is doing in my life. That’s all I have is my personal experiences. So take these things we are going to talk about today and put them against the back drop of your call.
Today is not about you being like me, or feeling guilty because you don’t help with youth or children's ministry.
This just happens to be what God has done in my life this week. Okay?
I had a conversation with someone from the community this week that blew my mind. One of the young men from this community approached me and asked if I , and the church, could help him fulfill some community service hours.
I told him I would love too.
He asked for one more thing. He asked me to pray and ask God to help him fulfill his dream of becoming a professional rapper.
I asked him if he had ever asked God what God’s dream for him was.
Funny look...
When he was explaining why he wanted to rap, he helped me to understand that his goal is to help others who have suffered or are suffering the way he has.
He wanted to share his story.
He wanted the power and resources to help others. He wants to make their lives better.
Imagine if… God of Power, compassionate towards the suffering.
How do I know what God’s dream is, he asked.
Ask God and He’ll tell you.
“how do I do that?”
Can I teach you while we work.
“aight.”
More of this story latter, God was just getting started!
After the encounter of Mary and Jesus a couple of things happen.
Jesus makes his official entrance into Jerusalem.
Side note, Jesus is a cowboy. That’s a story for another day.
yes, i can prove it.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem - all of it, not just those that believed, all of them.
He weeps because they are suffering needlessly.
He weeps because they are missing God.

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

What I want to do today is for us to look at this short passage and see 4 things that the Holy Spirit has showed me about who Jesus is.
Jesus Loves All People, regardless of ethnicity, culture, or anything else that man tries to use for division.
Jesus’ life is book-ended by the Holy Spirit drawing people of non Jewish orientation.
At the birth of Jesus, we see the wise men being drawn by the Holy Spirit, to Him.
At the death of Jesus, we see the same, Greeks, drawn by the Holy Spirit to Jesus.
Why is this significant? Because the Jews thought the Messiah was just for them.
So let’s get real, when was the last time you were frustrated because someone else crashed your life group?
Will, we would never...
what about your lunch break?
The weekend you had planned to spend relaxing?
If we are honest, and we need to be, we have all had times when a person that Jesus has placed in our lives messes up our plans.
We think our lives, our weekend, our lunch break, etc is ours. It’s not...
we put barriers around certain areas in our lives that we claim as ours. When someone tries we cross it, we shut them down. Nope this is mine.
Jesus provides access to God that the church denies.
These Greeks in our passage, who had converted to Judaism, are being drawn, but because of their heritage/culture/race, they are denied entry into the inner portion of the temple, where Jesus is teaching.
This truth forces me to ask myself a very hard question. Who am I denying to provide the truth of the Gospel too? Who am I judging?
I grew up in a racially charged environment. Just prior to my entry into High school there were racial fights regularly. By the time I made it to high school I was scared to death of black people. I was scared because of all the horror stories I had been told and in everyone of them the black kids started it, or so I was told.
Got to college and made a “black” friend. (he was the whitest black dude you would ever meet.)
this caused me to gloss over the true condition of my heart.
It even became something I was very prideful of.
Bethany and I were Youth Pastors at a prominent local church, we opened the church doors to the community around us (this was not well received)
God began to soften my heart to the needs of those kids and their families.
God called Bethany and I to get personally involved in some of their lives.
God helped me to see the truth about why their lives were the way they were.
He changed my heart.
God called us here.
He began to purge my heart of the prejudice that I didn’t even know still existed. Which manifested itself in my life as fear.
I was afraid of the people in this community because of the things I didn’t even personally experience when I was in Jr. High.
Interestingly, in our three years in this community, we’ve had to call the police only once. It was on a white dude... because he was threatening one of our youth.
The Greeks in this story needed someone to grant them access to where Jesus was. They needed help getting to him.
I believe that there are three people, just this week, that God has began to draw to himself.
These 3 are of a different culture than I am.
I can confidently say that it is the Holy Spirit, because I know it isn’t me they are drawn too.
Jesus made himself available and Andrew knew it.
The Tree Story
The Tree Story
Praying over Aaron
Some of the students are confused and curious
Bethany explains what’s going on.
They ease over and peek over the heads to see this man that God has healed.
God reminds Bethany of the story of Zacheaus that she read that morning and shows her that we, TGP West, are the tree.
We are here to help this community get a glimpse of Jesus.
Our call as believers is to introduce people to Jesus.
I used to hear things like that and would physically tense up inside because of fear. saying the right things etc...
What I never understood was that going to the mall and handing out stupid tracks isn’t what is needed.
Look at the beauty of this. THEY FOUND Philip!
We believe as a church that God pursues us. God draws us to himself. Scripture is clear about that.
So what is our role? ABC
as we abide, we will be aware of what God is doing around us AND what our role is.
Philip wasn’t out looking for people to convert. He was just doing life and they found him.
If you are unsure, ask for help!
Philip went to Andrew, I think, because he was unsure if it was ok.
Philip also knew that Andrew would ask Jesus anything.
We are called to live in community and none of us are able to walk this out alone. - This is what the Life Groups are designed for!
I want to make sure that you understand that I am not contradicting what Glen said last week.
In the scenario that I’m explaining, the assumption is that you are unsure of what God is saying. That means you are talking to God and you want others to help you confirm.
In the scenario that Glen used last week, there was no commmunication with God. That was circumvented and the person just asked someone what to do in a situation and they were given an answer. God wasn’t consulted by either.
The elders regularly text or email each other to say, hey, I think this is what God is saying.
We ask for the others to go to God and help us confirm what we think God is saying.
Remember, all of us are being called from what we understand to what we do not understand. That is how growth works.
it is natural and healthy for us to be unsure and want some backup.
don’t feel like you aren’t good enough because you don’t know everything.
Jesus uses their culture to help them understand the Gospel.

24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

This is a reference to Greek mythology that I am not even going to try to retell because I would butcher it to pieces.
The point is, Jesus was knowledgeable about a culture other than his and based on the intricacies of this story, he was very knowledgeable.
If God has called us to culture other than our own, which he has, part of that call is to learn and understand that culture.
I have been praying for the last couple of years that God would help me understand this community and that He would give me His perspective on it.
God has not called me to change who I am, but to understand who they are.
you aren’t going to see me wearing a flat bill cap or hipster pants. ( no, i’m not making fun of Levi)
Why? because that’s not me. if I do, I’m being fake and
We all know that if you are going out into a foreign mission field that you are going to need some training.
The randolph’s - They are in school learning the language and the culture. That is going to give them tools to speak Gospel Truth’s into those peoples lives using that cultures stories, language, and beliefs.
The William’s - when they got to Uganda, they connected with locals that knew both English and the Karamojong language and culture so that they could begin to learn.

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24

Paul - Paul, instead of focusing on how uncomfortable it was to be in a different culture, focused on the people and the culture around him. What do you know, as he was abiding, God showed him how to communicate the Gospel through their current context. The idol to the unknown God.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ac 17:22–24). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.Paul - Paul, instead of focusing on how uncomfortable it was to be in a different culture, focused on the people and the culture around him. What do you know, as he was abiding, God showed him how to communicate the Gospel through their current context. The idol to the unknown God.
If we are going to bring the truth about who God is to this community, we have to engage. We have to turn our brains on so we can learn about who they are.
We must become a student of their culture.
When we just try to “learn” about them, we naturally place ourselves above them.
When we learn from them, we place ourselves under them.
This learning process never stops.
“It is easy for us to imagine that we will suddenly come to a point in our lives where we are fully prepared, but preparation is not suddenly accomplished. In fact, it is a process that must be steadily maintained. It is dangerous to become settled and complacent in our present level of experience. The Christian life requires preparation and more preparation.” - Oswald
I cannot stress this enough. Your community is your mission field. We need to treat it as such.
Jesus tells the truth about what following him will be like.

25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

Jesus i
If we are to make any progress in ministry, anywhere, we have to be honest about what a relationship with Jesus is like.
It is popular in church culture to water down a relationship with Jesus to just saying a prayer, being baptised, and going to church.
Anyone who has a vibrant, growing relationship with Jesus knows that it is so much more than that.
When we encounter the living God, our lives are radically altered.
Our life is changed because our hearts are changed.
If we are trying to live our life for ourselves, we are going to find ourselves never satisfied.
Glen tells the story all the time of how his desire to be somebody left him empty and wanting.
I have a similar story, when we moved to Rockwall, I thought I had finally “made it”. I had big plans and dreams of being someone that everyone would want to talk to and ask how we built such a successful church.
guess what, it didn’t happen, instead I found betrayal, heartache, and devastation. Our lives, as I knew it, was destroyed. or so I thought.
it took me a long time to see it, but God used that time to show me that it wasn’t about me. God had to get me to the end of my desire to be someone so that I could be someone that he could use.
I loved my life and was chasing what I wanted.
As soon as I stopped trying to be somebody, I found that I was loved and valued by the people God put in my life. I didn’t need to be someone else. I just needed to be me.
When we choose to enter a relationship with Jesus and ask him to be the “lord or our life, in control, etc.” we are putting him in charge. We are choosing to follow.
“Therefore, if you are a Christian, your life is not your own. Rather than dying, however, God asks you to live for Him as a living sacrifice. Every day, you are to offer your life to Him for His service. You do not serve Him in your spare time or with your leftover resources. The way you live your life for God is your offering to Him.” - Blackaby
Here’s the best part, As we follow Jesus, He will fill us with Passion. Our obedience to follow will be the overflow of what he is doing in us.
Will others support me, probably not.
Therefore, if you are a Christian, your life is not your own. Rather than dying, however, God asks you to live for Him as a living sacrifice. Every day, you are to offer your life to Him for His service. You do not serve Him in your spare time or with your leftover resources. The way you live your life for God is your offering to Him.

Wrap Up:

Let me share a few stories of how God has worked this message out in my life this week.
Billy
Greg - works at Petron. We talk occasionally, but Thursday I ran into him and felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to talk with him about our ministry in this community.
He grew up very similarly to our kids.
at the age of 18 he was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
He served his time, took and completed all but one of the educational courses that were offered.
He has been out for 7 years and has worked at Petron since.
He says that for someone like him, that has been through what he has, that’s a big deal.
I asked him questions about what would have made a difference for him.
I asked him for his perspective on culture.
He was so willing to share his thoughts and even offered to come and speak to our group.
To say the least, I was blown away!
I invited him to come and check us out. He declined, but was honest with me right up front.
I was so appreciative of that because he was so honest and real with me and he didn’t have to be!
Kevin - also works at Petron and is friends with Greg
I was out of town all day Friday, but I went in to the office yesterday to prep for today.
I went out to my truck to get something and up walks Kevin.
I’ve never really spoken with Kevin other than hello’s.
He says, “Hey, Greg told me about how you are trying to help those kids. Man, if you want, I would love to come talk to them.”
Y’all feeling the overflow?
When we follow God’s lead we learn more about who he is.
As I said in the beginning, I didn’t share all of these stories about my life and this youth and children's ministry to make you feel guilty about not volunteering. You do what God has called you too. but...
“Never disregard a conviction that the Holy Spirit brings to you. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to bring it to your mind, it is the very thing He is detecting in you. You were looking for some big thing to give up, while God is telling you of some tiny thing that must go. But behind that tiny thing lies the stronghold of obstinacy, and you say, “I will not give up my right to myself”— the very thing that God intends you to give up if you are to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.” - Oswald
Here is the take-a-way for us today. God is calling people to himself.
We need to make sure we are ready to receive them. Glen talked about us digging our well last week. So that God can fill it to overflowing.
All week, God has been overflowing and y’all it has been amazing. I’m not special. I didn’t work hard for it. I did life with Jesus this week.
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