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Teachings of Christ

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“Teachings of Christ”

 Luke 5:16, Luke 2:7-20

121208

Purpose:  Our purpose is to worship and obey God to worship and love Christ.

Exegesis:  Even Christ withdrew to have time alone with God. Christ set our example.

INTRODUCTION

1) I was reminded this week of an early teacher, and in being reminded went back to look for him. Only his name remained  and none of his teachings were still present or offered. I was disappointed because I recall the man and how much he gave to others. I had heard accounts of how this pastor would sit and listen to others and encourage them in their own ministry, giving support to the birthing of many successful ministries in our area. He was a Barabbas and evidence held that he gave to others sacrificially without ever asking for anything in return. I was saddened at the loss of this man’s influence and sweetness in those very ministries in this area probably because of the distance of time away from this man, he left to be with the Lord in 1998, but also because of the times and their impact on the church that we now live in. I keep a list of those who have impacted me in a way similar to this man and am often saddened at our lack of remembrance once their presence is gone. Often as with Oswald Chambers and others I often attempt to bring back a little of the flavor that God poured through them when they were with us. Often most of what I find valuable in commentaries came from the generations before us and I believe God would favor us honoring and remembering their contributions. We have a now generation without a sense of past or sometimes without a sense of future… perhaps there is a connection between the attention to ones who contributed to where we are today with our direction and future…my limited research especially when I look at those who have given contemporary contributions to us the Church of Christ would indicate so. I can recall and remember this man’s voice and some of his instructions…his greatest contribution was in drawing close to God privately and loving Christ. Tonight’s text is one of the shortest we will look at …the example of Christ and His most valuable use of time.

2) We live in a time where we seem to have lost our sense of value of others…perhaps out of survival, perhaps out of neglect, perhaps out of religion or pride. I recall that sweet man who encouraged so many and how that gift was seemingly lost today. I felt the sadness of that lost and now see the connection because that since in a small way and the magnitude of loss Jesus must of felt when alone with His Father. How much both Christ and God must feel in the loss of what was before in how we remember today what both father God and our Savior Christ has done for us. May we be a people a special peculiar treasure of a people who in heartfelt joy can say…I remember. I remember Father God what you have done for us through time, I remember Lord Jesus the day you saved me .. .this wretched soul and set me free to be with you. I remember what you have done for me. And I can say….Merry Christmas and begin to understand the depth of that meaning and see the gifts of those who went before me…those special treasures of God who were a gift to me and a gift from God to others as well. I remember…may we this Christmas take time to remember those special gifts given that are not under the tree but in our hearts..may we be a people who remember those who went before us and who more in a sense of amazement remember Christ in the gift given to us this Christmas season …the gift of a Savior.

Luke 2:7-20                                          

3 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."
16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;
18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Now we can see how we have forgotten even the more recent miracle…the Birth of Christ, and we see Jesus in His fullness of ministry retreating to a place where memory is reality and He is able to spend time in the glorious presence of His Father …in prayer. Our lesson is to remember and the greatest lesson Christ teaches us is to retreat into our prayer closets or in solitude to be with Him and remember and bring our reality in line with the reality of Christ and the eternal picture, scope and reality of God with us in Christ.

            Transition

 .

EXPLANATION

 Jesus Cleanses a Leper

12 Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean."
13 Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do choose. Be made clean." Immediately the leprosy left him.
14 And he ordered him to tell no one. "Go," he said, "and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them."
15 But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases.
16 But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.

I still feel the sadness that I realized when I could not find a trace except the name of one who I know gave so much to so many…Christ must have had sadness during these times as the difference between man and God would be evident here and Christ was left with us…an ungrateful bunch who did not remember what God had done for us. Christ would have full recall of the greatness and the account of God in His dealings with man..all that God had done for us. Yet here in the solitude the realization that despite what God had done for man, the acute realization of their inability to recognize His Son. ..Christ. I use to be reluctant out of some religious gilt for celebrating Christmas..I know Christ was born around feast of the Tabernacles, but I still had a different guilt over celebrating Christmas …perhaps because I saw Christmas as a time for me or my family. Now I see Christmas as a time to celebrate Christ and rejoice as the heavens did knowing it is all part of the rememberance of God’s dealing with man and very much an OK thing to do. To rejoice as the heavens did that Christmas day. I also remember Christmases past…those times when significant people are remembered. Often for many Christmas is a sad time because of their aloneness, or loss of a loved one or tradgies of life in a fallen world. I recall this sweet old “barnabas” and how much he gave to others and believe I have gained a new insight on what God wants for us for Christmas. I pray a day will come when I get to fulfill that given vision. I have tapes in a closet of every teacher that has ever impacted me…my more tangible list …I remember those who contributed to my faith.

I pray this Christmas that we recall those who went before us and contributed to our faith…let us not forget those wonderful places and people God has used in a magnificent way to bring us through into His promised land…our faith in Christ.

1) Christ wants us in total submission                                               

2) Our real pearl is our relationship with Christ

3) Christ wants us to desire to be near Him

 

            Transition

 

MAIN POINTS

 

1) Christ wants us in total submission

 

Supporting verse(s)

 

December 11, 2008

Individuality

Oswald Chambers:

Jesus said to His disciples, ’If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself . . .’ —Matthew 16:24

Individuality is the hard outer layer surrounding the inner spiritual life. Individuality shoves others aside, separating and isolating people. We see it as the primary characteristic of a child, and rightly so. When we confuse individuality with the spiritual life, we remain isolated. This shell of individuality is God’s created natural covering designed to protect the spiritual life. But our individuality must be yielded to God so that our spiritual life may be brought forth into fellowship with Him. Individuality counterfeits spirituality, just as lust counterfeits love. God designed human nature for Himself, but individuality corrupts that human nature for its own purposes.

The characteristics of individuality are independence and self-will. We hinder our spiritual growth more than any other way by continually asserting our individuality. If you say, "I can’t believe," it is because your individuality is blocking the way; individuality can never believe. But our spirit cannot help believing. Watch yourself closely when the Spirit of God is at work in you. He pushes you to the limits of your individuality where a choice must be made. The choice is either to say, "I will not surrender," or to surrender, breaking the hard shell of individuality, which allows the spiritual life to emerge. The Holy Spirit narrows it down every time to one thing (see Matthew 5:23-24 ). It is your individuality that refuses to "be reconciled to your brother" ( Matthew 5:24  ). God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but unless you are willing to give up your right to yourself, He cannot. ". . . let him deny himself . . ."— deny his independent right to himself. Then the real life-the spiritual life-is allowed the opportunity to grow.

 

                         In the theme and flavor of this lesson I remember a pastor that died before my family and I had the opportunity to meet him and thank him personally for his contribution. I recall what a short ministry the man had…only three years yet it was so much like the ministry of Christ and the bewilderment afterwards also left the same sense of what it must have been like for the disciples when they were left without Christ so I saw the gift this man gave and the gift the man received from Christ… a ministry similar to His own..a great honor not at all a loss but an incredible honor. Christ was seen by many as a loss at the Cross yet we are here today because of the loss not of the success. Without the loss of Christ we would be without the way and the means to be reunited with God. Anyone who knew that relatively young pastor I am sure teach the sense of loss at the death on the Cross with a sensitivity and reality of those who did not know the young pastor did and can not. It is in the loss of these gifts in earthen vessels when we realize what was given within the vessels Christ uses to pour out and into us that we get the sense of the loss Christ must have felt when He was alone with His Father… the loss of what was missed in what God had so marvelously intended…yet we go about ministry so ineptly…forgetting past lessons and gifts..forgetting the gifts of those who went before us.

 

Supporting verse(s)

16 But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.

Are beginning to remember those God has placed in your life that added to your being here today and listening today

                                     

 

                        Transition

 

            2) Our real pearl is our relationship with Christ

            Often we trample the Christ in others in our own arrogance and need to be right. Many who have a flicker of Christ have darkness that needs to be eradicated by our …us fanning into full fire the flicking of Christ within the other. I confess this is probably my lesson …I have seen great wrong committed by those who profess Christ yet was angry and my response was anger wanting to vindicate my right in the face of their wrong. Here a lesson for me specifically is the need to  fan the flicker of Christ into full fire so that the light of Christ and the spirit of Christ can eradicate those things in each other’s that we respond in unChristlikenss to each other over. Jesus is the solution nothing else will accomplish what the Holy Spirit can do within a life…may we be fanners and exhorters of Christ instead of tramplers of Christ in others.        May we this Christmas get a sense of true surrender to Christ and become more fully His.  

 

December 8, 2008

The Impartial Power of God

Oswald Chambers:

By one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified —Hebrews 10:14

We trample the blood of the Son of God underfoot if we think we are forgiven because we are sorry for our sins. The only reason for the forgiveness of our sins by God, and the infinite depth of His promise to forget them, is the death of Jesus Christ. Our repentance is merely the result of our personal realization of the atonement by the Cross of Christ, which He has provided for us. ". . . Christ Jesus . . . became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption . . ." ( 1 Corinthians 1:30  ). Once we realize that Christ has become all this for us, the limitless joy of God begins in us. And wherever the joy of God is not present, the death sentence is still in effect.

No matter who or what we are, God restores us to right standing with Himself only by means of the death of Jesus Christ. God does this, not because Jesus pleads with Him to do so but because He died. It cannot be earned, just accepted. All the pleading for salvation which deliberately ignores the Cross of Christ is useless. It is knocking at a door other than the one which Jesus has already opened. We protest by saying, "But I don’t want to come that way. It is too humiliating to be received as a sinner." God’s response, through Peter, is, ". . . there is no other name . . . by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12 ). What at first appears to be heartlessness on God’s part is actually the true expression of His heart. There is unlimited entrance His way. "In Him we have redemption through His blood . . ." ( Ephesians 1:7  ). To identify with the death of Jesus Christ means that we must die to everything that was never a part of Him.

God is just in saving bad people only as He makes them good. Our Lord does not pretend we are all right when we are all wrong. The atonement by the Cross of Christ is the propitiation God uses to make unholy people holy.

We have seen some past lessons of peals and swine of pretense and a form of Godliness without the genuineness of Christ…the message is that Christ wants us…all of us, every part with no dark corners left uncovered or hidden. When I think back to Christmases past and I am sure this Christmas season one blessing this economy has done is slowed us down so we can remember Christmases past…I recall a member of our family…a married in son. I recall the  strong comment I made to this young man when I realized the darkness that he had kept hidden from us and how we did not know that darkness was there. I thought of my prayer to God repenting for that very comment no matter how true and accurate the statement was…it should not have been said or thought. But I realized it was the darkness left unyielded that grew in secret and blew up seemingly destroying the good God had done in his life. I thought of many others who seemed to allow the darkness to brood and  that this gave rise to what was the much of my spiritual trials and turmoil over the last 8 years. That darkness of the ministry of self instead of the ministry of Christ, that darkness of the promotion of self instead of the lifting up of Christ. I recalled that sweet early teacher and how many who were around him much more than I , and how I missed his influence yet I understood the parable of those who came late receiving the same wages as those who arrived to work early because I remembered the lessons of that man and I saw how those who came early seemed to have forgot them.

I saw on the internet how one company advertised and I was negatively impressed with their harshness against others…amazingly these were ones who had been privately bailed out for failure yet their inflexibility and judgment of others was beyond anything anywhere else I had seen. I recalled the lesson of the debtor and how he who was forgiven great debt could not forgive a relatively insignificant one. That was something of what I was seeing and I saw the church who has been gifted by much by those gifts in earthen vessels forget the gift, forget what Christ came for and demonstrate unforgiveness and harshness towards others…darkness inside of them unyeilded to Christ festering up to a storm of wrong actions.

Actions that cannot possibly please Christ and actions with no intent of yielding the actions to the light, love and ministry of Christ or at times even the truth of Christ.

I am greatfull for the gift of this message because I knew there was something of a lesson to attend to with the death of the pastor I never got to know and how wonderful to place him with the lesson of the first teacher who touched so many and so many have forgotten.

May we not forget this Christmas the gift we have been given.

            3 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:
11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."
16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;
18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

We have been given a gift will we remember how we attained the gift and will we remember the giver of the gift?    

 

3) Christ wants us to desire to be near Him

 

16 But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.

Can we find a time this Christmas to draw near…can we find a time to remember the gifts given to us in others?

Can we find a time to remember the gift of Christ given to us by God.

Can we cultivate a life as Christ is teaching us here to draw near into the reality of the spiritual love of God through Christ making this our reality, leaving the carnal and self behind, leaving the promotions and concerns of man behind, being supernaturally transported by Christ into the reality of God, the reality of Christ and our lives buried and hidden with in Christ and His life within us. Can we open up every dark corner and let the love and Christ explode within us into a fresh newness of relationship and vision. An explosion of love and the reality of the Spirit of God within us… Gods Kingdom here on earth and loose the separation that self, pride and the concerns of man imposes, releasing us further into God, and into Christ letting go of what was and taking hold of what is bringing us forward in God, in Christ and in nearness to Him. Revival is not God givng man a gift , revival is man recognizing teh gifts of God around him and allowing the relase of those gifts within the context of this renewed closeness to God. In our text tonight we see the teaching of Christ drawing close the Father receiving the reality of what truly was the reality of Christ…the Spirit of God within..that God is a spirit and Christ’s reality was withdrawing into the spritiual reality afforded only in solitude and private prayer. I remember that early teacher how sweet he was and how he tended to defy the reality of world laying hold of his reality in his prayer closet with Christ and not feeling any sense of abashment over it. Dare to belong to Christ and dare to show it. Christ was a contradiction to those around Him. They had forgotten their abilty to recognize God…Christ must have had an incredible sense of aloneness in this being God’s son…alone here on earth with those who had forgotten the glorious works of God. But in that solitude and aloness is the only place where we can truly find God. It is in that solidarity of aloneness and surrender that we truly become more and more one with Christ and surrender those dark corners, nooks and crannies within our being to Christ.             HYPOTHESIS :   May we truly remember what we have been given this Christmas and when we say “Merry Christmas” really mean…may you draw near to Him, may you find Christ this Christmas either for the first time or in a fresh and deeper way.

             

Prayer focus:

Conclusion

            1) May we feel the loss enough to recognize our gain in Christ. May we remember those who have gone before us and may we see the Christ within them for us.

            2) May we understand the true purpose of the gift given us and understand the peal of Christ , the treasure of Christ within us and others…may we not trample the Christ in others.

            3) May we more that ever before rebel against self and draw closer to Christ making this as Christ has taught us our greatest treasure and the desire of our hearts…that we draw near to Him.

May we become more transparent, more available, more aware and more Lord Jesus, more like you. Let us know what for each of us this will mean.  

 

Bibliography:

Biblical Word commentary

Bible Knowledge commentary

John Gills Commentary

Jack Hayford's Bible Handbook

Spirit Filled Life Bible

 

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