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December 11, 2020 12:00 am
There is the concept that Christianity should be safe. Christianity should be comfortable. I don't think that my faculty some of the opposite. I see that at times Christianity, far from being safe tonight. I see at times that instead of being comfortable in Christianity you will be discomforted because of your belief welcome to cross the bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina, in a world of so many creature comforts. Sometimes it's hard to believe that God is more interested in our spiritual growth than our physical comfort. Today pastor David explains why this is so important to understand as he continues in the Gospel of John chapter 11. Now here's David McGee with part two of his teaching for the glory of God. John chapter 11 verse seven.
Then after this he said to the disciples, let us go to Judea verse eight the disciples at them knew Rabbi, lately the Jews saw the start menu and are you going there again, now this got interesting to me because you have the disciples are seeking the rescue Jesus from his obvious short-term memory, thinking while he really doesn't remember that the Lord that's the place.
The Jews that they wanted the stone noon and night. You want to go back to that place is also got interesting because they say and are you going there again. They didn't say they were going there again is you're going back will later use, guess what, you know it's interesting because you know they're sitting there thinking your Jesus you may have forgotten this, but this is still kinda fresh in our minds that these guys wanted to's dystonia is something if we get back there something really bad could happen like you know they might miss you and hit one of us or something so we probably shouldn't do this and and and then reminded the Lord about the details Arthur Lord, you forgot that you forget things and this is unique. We see this in Jesus we also see this in Paul remember Paul at the Philippi and they beat them up and they stoned him, and they left them for dead.
And then you know he goes out and in and do some other things and then he gets ready.
He goes back to Philip how would you like to been a helper in the ministry with Paul. When Paul said all right were going back to Philip. I'm really excited ~~isn't that where they stoned you and left you for dead Jack. I'm excited.
I'm stoked going to Starbucks and you're going okay.
It's a good time for me to turn in my notice, Paul. I'm stepping down filaments and Jesus is revealing something here to us. We have front row seat to this Jesus is more concerned about ministry than he is concerned about his own well-being because there's times when ministry takes risks. There's times when ministry takes risk. Jesus was less concerned about his own well-being have taken taken risk in here and and sometimes the Lord has really blessed my steps of faith and sometimes is just fallen apart horribly and it's okay that's okay because ministry takes risk. I would rather take risk in ministry than the play it safe. You know, because I'm a follower of Jesus. I don't see Jesus playing it safe to see Jesus linger in back and go you know it you're right they did stone me there it in stone.
You guys want you all run along and minister to Martha and Mary know as a spiritual leader.
He put himself right in the middle of the risk in the following this is that this is a principle we need understand elegantly that backdrop before we read verse nine because there are some commentaries that I read that completely missed the point of verse not.
I felt like verse nine Jesus answered, are you are there not 12 hours in the day if anyone walks in the day.
He does not stumble because he sees the light of this world, but if one walks in the night, he stumbles because the light is not in him. So Jesus is saying you know what there's 12 hours in the day I'm gonna be about the work of the kingdom. I'm going to be ministering while on here and I actually read some commentaries that said Jesus what he is really saying here is that it was it was safe to be okay.
I don't see that in those verses is more effective or familiar with what happens later on in the chapter, the Jewish leaders actually begin to seek the execution of Jesus because of what happens. This is where I depart from, I don't know what you would maybe call it traditional Christianity or something. I don't mean to scare young I'm Orthodox and very conservative in my theological beliefs but there's the concept that Christianity should be safe. Christianity should be comfortable. I don't see that the Bible is my faculty. Some of opposite.
I see that at times Christianity, far from being safe will put you in danger. I see at times that instead of being comfortable in Christianity you will be discomforted because of your belief and I think we need understand that because I've heard people saying you've probably heard this, the safest place in the world is to be in the perfect will of God given her down on her desktop from the pulpits a lot sounds good that makes you feel safe and comfortable dining and the only problem with that is you begin to look at the Bible and it does a lot of guys I mean of the safest places to be in the perfect will of God.
Did Paul know because either. Paul was way out of the will of God in not being safe or Paul.
Perhaps I throw out to you this morning that Paul was in the perfect will of God. But it was not a safe place mean I don't know how you define safe but yet when we go through getting beat up and left for dead and shipped direct and snake bit and ultimately executed. That is really a fun, safe, to me. See, this is the thing we have to understand this is that often times and I know this is gonna rock some of your boats and praise God for the rocket up boats. Amen. Safe in Christianity at times will go together. They will go together, but you know what, at the end of this life, however long the Lord gives me at the end of this life. I don't want to look back on my life and go well I didn't do this or didn't do that I didn't do this that the other patina when I played it safe… Safe life you don't hear Jesus congratulate anybody that comes into his presence and says all well done no safe server is not hidden there. It's not in their guys. We gotta get that out of our heads.
This morning there's people that are dying for their faith somewhere in the world in the last century. More people died for their faith in any century in history, including the times when the Romans were killed by the thousands more in the last 100 years God is far more interested in your spiritual growth than your temporary comfort. Don't don't take what I'm think Satan got what God doesn't care about my comfort at all.
That's not what I said, wants to comfort you, but at times he doesn't want you comfortable the word of God afflicts the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.
That's what it dies and at times we need to move out of our comfort zone. God wants to send us on this incredible adventure will you will end up bringing maximum glory to his name. That has to be the goal.
Your maximum comfort, not your maximum comfort.
The life lesson years God is more interested in your spiritual growth than your physical comfort and again I'm not saying that God doesn't care about your comfort. I'm not saying that at all. God is concerned with the comfort he's more concerned with your spiritual growth. He's more concerned with you bringing glory to his name. So we need to understand these things because part of what were supposed to be doing is impacting this world in which we live and in the in eternal way and eternal way and we can in our mind. Well, you know, as long as I'm comfortable and you're missing the point. It's all about our conference call the missionaries back home is all about our comfort… Not start anymore churches consummate guarantee you it was not a comfortable situation exactly when we started this fellowship leave your comfort and embrace the adventure that God has for you because it is going to be an amazing thing in an this is what happens here we give people an opportunity in this fellowship in this church impact others for eternity. What an amazing thing. See is people like on the worship team is is a play music and they lead you to worship and maybe you've had a hard week. Our day hard life you come in here to worship God and makes a different or perhaps you, you invite somebody to the service you invite a friend or family member and then you have the joy watch and come forward to receive the Lord's are Savior, you've eternally impacted the life of perhaps you use there's a financial commitment you support the church financially. We use those resources to do what the impact lives and that's what we have to decide is important. Our comfort or impact in our lives for eternity.
Daniel chapter 12 verse three says those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and there is also verse of the weave got that opportunity to do that here we want to give you the opportunity in serving the Lord here to do just that.
The impact lives for eternity. Verse 11 these things he said and after that he said to them, our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him at death. There's a distinctive difference between somebody that's a follower of Jesus Christ in some way that's not a follower of Jesus Christ. And there's a concept in here. It's not soul sleep soul sleep is an un-biblical thing. If you ever hear that tossed around, but there's the concept that her body goes to sleep in our soul or spirit. Go to be with the Lord and then at some point Jesus calls her body and we get our glorified bodies and it's an awesome thing, but he uses sleep here that's describing the death of Lazarus verse 12 this disciple said, Lord, if he sleeps he will get well it done. Get the feeling they don't want to go what he what are you fortune you guys think think they don't really understand what Jesus is saying this I will you will be okay will be right back with more from David McGee on cross the bridge right now. Here's a word from associate pastor DA Brown about wanting them and pray for summer listeners in these cities and why he had a lanai city Lee, who and also Ammon acids and Boise in burly Idaho God, we thank you that we get the pray for these listeners today we pray that they will be encouraged to remember how much you love them, Lord of some of them are sick.
We pray that you please heal them from the top of their head to the bottom of their toes.
Lord, we pray that you would acquit them and empower them to share their testimony of your goodness to other people. In Jesus name, amen, amen. Thank you brother and now get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse verse 13 however, Jesus spoke of his death that they thought that he was speaking about taking a rest and sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead. Jesus it is again interesting. If you go back and you look at from verse one you can see that your Jesus is trying to use analogies and you start to use pictures. These tiniest concepts in an the guys just aren't getting it. So he probably has to break it down, take a look out Lazarus is dead. Okay this is this is where I'm going with this whole thing. The disciples thought Lazarus was sleeping with the lap of the disciples, don't.
Don't miss this week we talk about this often, but for a reason. The disciples were missing the point that they don't understand they don't know what Jesus is doing their not sure is my factor. Trying to talk them out of doing something that he supposed to be doing BC that was that important will just make us feel better about us know it's it's important because we often think of the disciples of some kind of super human's.
They were superhuman they were humans, they did supernatural things, but they were human just like you showing me it's an amazing concept to consider what happens as we think of leadership them as superhumans if we think of them as St. John Bougainvillea market will liquid disciple, but when we think of them in those terms. We think they did something were not able to do and walk away with an accurate picture. So there missing it, but it's okay because Jesus is is right and him and verse 15 uses and I am glad for your sakes and it was not there that you may believe. Nevertheless let's go to this is interesting noticed something you have to hear everything Jesus had to say here because if later walked away and cut them off later got Lazarus is dead and I'm glad.
And then they walked off and later walked off with with a totally inappropriate picture of what Jesus was saying to and it's in it's interesting on Scripture. You be careful about that.
You understand there's commas in there. They were placed there after the fact, sometimes are good places and things are not good places, but understand that the spacing of the word of God and and there's there's one place it says I'm from, would not have you ignorant brother and about such and such and so and so and if you just move the pause, it determines utterly different than it I would not have you ignorant, brethren, you know to be careful were those pauses or wait to hear all of what the Lord says is an in this verse. He saying you know, I'm glad I wasn't there, that you may believe. Verse 16 then Thomas is called the twin, said to his fellow disciples, let us also go, that we may die with some of the commenters they were trying to paint this is a noble statement.
Come on man, you really gotta stretch that to make that a noble statement coming Thomas in her tell you they said you know what you might not you go back and just as we were going back and I was like great was all good.I mean that's that's that's what he was saying in.
That's what I mean you know this is this is the Bible remove the religious glasses and look at the disciples for who they are because they were humans call do supernatural purpose is what you are your human call to supernatural purpose and this is a beautiful thing. We have Thomas, who sadly was given him a horrible nickname Emily doubting Thomas how how would you like to carry that one around doubting Thomas. But you know what you know we don't see here. We don't see Jesus turning the Thomas Aggarwal Thomas. If you feel that way want you to stay here will see that we don't see Thomas going.
You know what Jesus I'm concerned about are all of our welfare and our well-being so you know what you go. I'm not going with Thomas. I think here express concerning other places. He expressed doubt he expressed concern generally didn't do it and act on that he acted on his face. She somehow we got the twisted notion that faith is never doubting faith is never questioning where do we get that faith is acting in spite of those doubts.
In spite of unbelief. Sometimes because let's be honest was be honest in here. We can't be real in here.
We can't be real anywhere. All of us sometimes have doubts all of us sometimes suffer under the tyranny of unbelief, but don't act on that friend don't act on your unbelief. Don't act on your down act on your face gets here.
Thomas. Thomas wasn't sure things are going to go well in Bethany when he went anyway because he allowed his courage and his face to override his down and Thomas were told historically not in the Bible were told it. Thomas went to India after the crucifixion of the Lord and went and started the church in India and was martyred there. The spear was a symbol doubting Thomas gave his life for telling others about Jesus. And this is the thing. He lived his life so that would affect others for eternity.
This is the last life lesson. Live your life so it will affect others for eternity renders it to go while weird verse to use for that life lesson. I think it's a great verse.
The reason is again. Sometimes we will silly things sometimes you feel doubt.
Sometimes you will feel uncertain sometimes you might not feel like I'm the church on Sunday morning. Not all the people that are here you're going to feel loose things. The question is do you act on those feelings or do you act on your faith to some of you've probably been under the mistaken illusion that to be a Christian is to never have a doubt and never have a thought of unbelief. We see you set free this morning.
That's not what being a Christian is because if most of us if you remember, even when you were getting saved, even when you are accepting salvation and forgiveness from the Lord. There was part of you that was going on, old man.
I hope this works. I hope that somehow I haven't done so much that it is as though not going to work for me, even in one of our holiest moments. There was some doubt there were some uncertainty in what we do is we've made it such a horrible thing to confess these things to one another. I live with demands in the book of Mark when when his son is been ministered to and he says, Lord, I believe, help my doubt ointment.
He said he believed but he said help my doubt. How can that be because sometimes doubt will come.
But here's what you can't do.
You can't act on your doubt. You can't act on your uncertainty. You act on your face and some of you may have felt in the past. I'm just not sure about this and not sure about that. You know, I noticed don't know what to do and it's understandable to have doubt it's understandable sometimes suffer from unbelief, but where we get the troubles when you start acting on our doubt. We start living out a life of unbelief. That's where we get in trouble and sometimes we might have doubts or unbelief. The best thing is to do nothing to sit still and wait on the Lord to wait on the Lord because the temptation is when you get a situation like that to do something. A lot of times doing something ends up to be the wrong thing and I think we painted this in such absolutes that we may following Jesus almost unattainable for some people, what is following Jesus was may believe in him at all times no matter what. I think Thomas doubted the Thomas followed. I think many of us, all of us of doubted some to question questions very following. Are you live in a life of faith.
Are you willing to step out on that faith, act on that faith. Perhaps you are here this morning and this sounds different than what you've heard before talk about following Jesus and talk about not being perfect because you thought being a Christian was being perfect and and never having any doubts that doesn't describe the Christian Christian assembly that actually messes up still but they're forgiven and they've changed the direction from their way to God's way and there following the Lord, the forgiveness of sin does not come because of your goodness comes because of his goodness. He can be good enough to come, the God none of us are that good. And if you've been waiting to become good enough so you can come to God that will never happen, but the reality is, he will accept you this morning right where you are but some of you may have Artie accepted the Lord and you've been dealing with this thing of believe in your circumstances. Some you believe your faith is time that you act out on that faith, because you can make a difference. I know that this people say that that it's almost trite to say, but that's the reality. You can impact other people, not just tomorrow, not just next week, but for eternity.
You look around the room and there's people here that are affecting one another for eternity. And it's a beautiful thing because her stepping out in faith or not stepping in and depending and moving on their doubt. I'm to be brave enough and bold enough to say I think everybody in this room wants to impact other people for eternity.
I think everybody in this room wants to spend an eternity with God in heaven. The only thing that's keeping you from that is that step of faith.
I just talked about acting on your face and not on your doubt is what we all have to do to approach God and the Lord wants to use you to glorify his name to make a difference. And yes you know what, if you do this you're going to make mistakes and that's okay. It's been said, the only person he doesn't make mistakes. Is the person who doesn't do anything. You know what I disagree with that person that does nothing makes the biggest mistake of all. And some of you may have been challenged by the Lord, even by the Holy Spirit this morning to take steps of faith to live a life that's can impact other people for eternity. And I invite you step out on whatever that means to you because I Can't make a blanket statement and say well you know this is what God's lien on your heart. This is what God is laying on my heart. God has to speak to you about that but I know that God desires to use us to impact the nations for his name and he used people like the disciples who were not perfect to do just that. To take the world the change in someone invite you in this grand adventure face is God's got a plan. It's a good one but it's going to take you stepping out on his face.
Friend, you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven. You can know right now only Jenna short, simple prayer simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him.
Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven and I believe you were raised from the dead that I can have a new life not done wrong things I have sinned, and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things.
Please give me the power to live for you. All of my days in Jesus name, amen it friend of you prayed that prayer according to the Bible. You've been forgiven you've been born again congratulations thing you just made the greatest decision that you will ever make.
God bless you, if you pray that prayer with David for the first time we'd love to hear from you. You can visit cross the bridge.com to receive our first steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. Or you can write to cross the bridge at PO Box 12, 515 Winston-Salem, NC 27117 and share how God is working in your life you're the Bible tells us that the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. But it does cost for us to come and bring that message to you and to others in your neighborhood through radio through the Internet and through the mobile technologies that God has gifted us to be able to use so if you like to support this ministry. Please go to cross the bridge.com. Click on the donate button and ask God how much you would have you give either on a one-time basis or continuing basis each month to help ensure that the teaching of God's word continues to go out for pasta. Thank you so much for DA before we go.
What are some ways that we can bless our listeners days you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor David the word of God with his email devotional life lessons to consider a daily reading plan and the thought to meditate on throughout your day in the heart of David McGee. Thanks again for listening and join us next time. As David McGee continues teaching verse by verse in the gospel of God