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January 26, 2021 12:00 am
Too often we define Christianity as a safe religion and we talk about loving people in a safe measure petition with Jesus when he loved to a dangerous life. He knew what his love for us, cost, and he didn't say you know how I would love you but it's going to hurt too much. Got sick too much effort and it's amazing how easily were distracted from. Maybe there's a person at work. Maybe there's a person here at the church that really needs some live, some affection, some tenderness in caring some encouragement when you see them something about them.
Just gotta make sure cringe and you got all here they come. Gotta get the conversation before they come up to me is that life no welcome to cross the bridge with David McGee.
David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. What a big McGee's associate pastors is grounded so happy to have with this officer today. Bob, thanks for having it's an honor to be when it comes to love.
There is a risk involved, but that shouldn't keep us from loving other today. Pastor Dave explains this risk continues in the Gospel of John chapter 15 I'm excited to hear about this, so let's listen as David McGee starts teaching, we must choose. We have covered John 15 up to about this. Verse 16 we talked about a wondrous thing last weekend that Jesus is telling us to do these things actually believes that we can do these things you see when Jesus tells us to do something he enables us to do something so you pick it up in verse 17 these things I command you, that you love one another. Now Jesus is not saying hey, this is it. If you can work it in.
If it's convenient.
If it fits into your timeframe or your schedule. He saying in I command you to love one another. We need to recognize something that love is very much part of God's heart is a matter fact, it's so much part of God's heart that you can't separate the love of God from the heart of God.
Why is love so important to God. Why is love so pretty dominant in the Scriptures. Well, it's because that's where the whole thing starts.
Remember John 316 says for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and what's interesting to to letter word simple word but is so powerful for God so loved the world, and he says hey as I have loved you guys. I want you to love one another. Now here's the thing I want you to come to mentally formulate your answer. If you will. What keeps you from loving other people. What would you say keeps you from opening up the other people in loving other people think about the answer for just a second. I jotted some down that might come off the cuff. The first one is the way they act. Sometimes people just don't act lovable and so that makes it difficult to love them right so that might be wanted answers. Second thing, the things they say, sometimes not. You guys, but other people. Sometimes they say things that aren't very lovable 13 is the ungrateful attitude ever done something for some money and try to love them in a way and then have them not not only not say thank you but be very un-gracious and ungrateful torch what it is you've done for that makes it difficult to love them, but in the fourth thing would be none of the above. Now, as you might imagine from the set up. It's the fourth one. It's none of the above, this thing that keeps us from really loving one another as ourselves are falling human nature. It's not the person beside you it's not your spouse or your kids or your friends or your family or the people you work with issue, it's me. We tend not to want to love why because somewhere in our past, we've been hurt everyone of us and we figured out that the solution, although it worked.
It was the wrong solution was to pull back and not to love not to place ourselves in the situation. But see, this is the deal is and and understand what I'm asking you to do what I'm talking about loving one another. I'm asking you to go beyond your comfort level II because in your comfort zone.
Reaching out is not part of that. So what you have to do is you have to go beyond your comfort zone into what I would call the growing zone and reaching out loving one another that even as a say that you like oh what's so scary.
It's a little dangerous. I mean really love one another really care for one another and and and take the risk of being her.
What did Jesus do we call ourselves followers of Jesus, and we should be did Jesus take risk, you bet you did Jesus love way beyond his comfort zone, you betcha. And that's who we say that we follow. So the first life lesson here is love takes risk. Love takes risk receipt. Too often we define Christianity as a safe religion and we talk about loving people in a safe measure petition when Jesus went he loved to a dangerous level some infecting new he knew what his love for us, would cost him and he didn't say you know how I would love you but it's going to hurt too much and got sick too much effort.
So what happened and it's amazing how easily were distracted from loving maybe there's a person at work. Maybe there's a person here at the church that really needs some live, some affection, some tenderness in caring some encouragement and when you see them. Something about them. Just gotta make sure cringe and you can all here they come mechanism.
Gotta get a conversation before they come up to me is that love no, it's not actually wonder if sometimes God measures a church, by the way they love the unlovable, the way they love the unlovable and you know what we do and I'm saying we saw him get in trouble just like you got what we do. Sometimes as we let small thing keep us from loving one another. Small things like what Eunice money can look at your weird and your like kindling things looked at me like that.
What's up with that. What are they thinking that that that that they have no right to look at me like that or you know or are we getting the paranoid look, I'm talking about your talk about me you know if we knew how little people talked about us would be pretty disappointed you but we always think others are looking good looking and make their pointing brother pointing maybe you're in trouble. But we let the small things get in the way.
What Jesus would've treated us like that one of you to look around at the disciples in such use. Sorry bunch of clowns. There's 12 of you and and you know one of you is going to just flat out betray me and then another that God had hoped would rise to leadership is going to deny me to love you.
Out of the 12 let's just call the whole thing off it and do. He didn't do that. And again I pointed out that that the Last Supper, the reason there was so much confusion about who was going to betray him is because Jesus had love them so much and so well that he treated Judas. No differently than the other 11 disciples that's convicting me because often you know what I can put distance between me and somebody else thinking what they might do to know that Judas was going to betray him like that and still loving. That's amazing. That's amazing. Think about if you were in that situation you know that Judas would become well what I term sermon fodder sermon gunpowder service.
Yet we could all be like Judas, who we all know was going to betray me and you know if even if you don't keep in belief and you keep strong greatly be like Judas and you know I mean it would just leave its way in the conversation on that's never happened. It's amazing this Jesus that's Jesus and you know I think we often think of the power that the church is lacking and we think in terms usually of the Holy Spirit and the gifts in the supernatural. If the church is lacking in power. I think here is probably the most powerful key in loving one another in the world.
Watching that, looking only going what was going on what's going on in that warehouse in Kernersville, people loving children. You're listening to Pastor David McGee on cross the bridge will be right back with more just a moment, but I want to remind you of the free resources available to you on cross the bridge.com there's a team of hundreds of people that will pray for somebody to be saved.
You have a loved one that needs to know Jesus as Savior. You need people to pray for them. You need someone to present God's word to them every day were present in God's word to them here on cross the bridge with Pastor David McGee. We can pray for them as well.
Just by simply going to cross the bridge.com and click on the pray for the lost button.
All you need to do is put in the first names of the people you love, that need to know Jesus as Savior. Click on submit and immediately hundreds of people begin praying for your lost loved ones.
What an awesome way to bring your love ones to Jesus. Here's a word from associate pastor DA Brown want to take just a minute to pray for seven cities in our listening audience. Walker, Michigan, Brainerd, Fergus Falls and Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Biloxi Friars pointe in Meridian, Mississippi, Lord. Thank you that were able to broadcast in the cities. Thank you for your good news which will not return void order pray for everyone listening right now that they would be encouraged today recognize that you love them greatly, and you have a good plan. Lord I pray for anyone in their lives who they've been trying to reach out to really been trying to share the gospel with we lift those up to you now.
We pray that you would convince and convict and even encouraged in the put their trust in order pray for protection safety in the cities. Did the police officers wisdom, the fire department wisdom.
The town councils and mayors. Everyone in leadership give them wisdom helped in the love one another, and Lord. We trust you that you to do a great work in the cities.
In Jesus name, amen, amen.
Thank you brother and now get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse, verse 18 says of the world hate you know that it hated me before it hated you.
If you were the world, the world would love its own yet but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Now this is interesting and Jesus is painting a picture and understand when he says the world. He doesn't mean necessarily the physical world.
He's talking about a world system that denies and ignores the presence of God and there is such a system in place me not to recognize that is is the height of ignorance. There is an agenda to take in God we trust off of the money to take the 10 commitments. All these things that we see going on prayer in school. There is a world system and an agenda to take God out of our culture and our society recognize that I don't want to be a part of that and here Jesus is saying it's it's kind of either or. Now here's here's the problem in reading like this we read this and we go okay the world supposed to hate me going work that out you know about American enough and I'm spiteful enough and I'm hateful enough that I can make this first happened that's out of whack. She Jesus is saying you know what this will be a natural progression. You just follow me, and this is going not go out and and in anger people and be spiteful and be hateful and misrepresent Jesus and have them hate to be careful with using this as an excuse because see sometimes we give people reasons not to like us, Jesus, and there is a natural antagonism. Now, if there is not a natural antagonism something is wrong, something's wrong. I don't mean everybody's mad at you but occasionally people will be upset with insert. Let me let me help you with this and this is going to be kind of a twisted thing, but bear with me if you have a family that's filled with unbelievers and there is not some tension at family gatherings. Some draw again. That doesn't mean you can be hateful or spiteful or you know jump up on the buffet table and start point in preaching and foaming at the mouth, but do not actually will be, you know this thing of you know the tell some off-color joke or use some foul language and I can assure to glance at you at all in and I mean that's a natural antagonism. Let's there is going to happen. It's all is it's amusing to me is a is a fly under different places you know and people are now starting conversations in your before they find out what what I do, you know, there sometimes her speech is peppered and are talking about drink interparty enter whatever you know and after a few minutes, are like so what you do, pastor, I was just joking about that little party and thing in the usually have three mixed drinks on the same flight but the because they're sitting there and there being convicted there being convicted now understand something in this antagonism there is the world system and there's following Jesus.
There's two things. There isn't and you need to realize that while because if you don't realize that you'll be in danger if you go to the world for wisdom in what you're going to get worldly wisdom wasn't me. Well if you go if you have a tax accountant was sick, who does not believe in Jesus and he's going through your stuff going take this link with this is not really honest but we can get that deductible not deductible alignment. You know, follow Jesus. I want to cheat on my taxes. What you asked that person.
That's un-American, or you know you you go to a lawyer in some legal trouble and you know what you're supposed to do but don't the lawyers. As you know, you really have to do what's right here. I can get jealous you pay me enough money I get. Ciao this is not from you don't have to worry about what's right wrong. It's so unclear anyway. But you pay me enough money, I'll get jealous because that's the world system or going to a counselor or psychiatrist or psychologist who does not believe in sin who does not believe in Jesus does not believe in heaven does not believe in him yet. You're going to get wisdom from that person. Be careful because, for they may have some wisdom and some areas but that's a totally different system than the one that you say that your follow, because Jesus says there is a problem.
There is such a thing as sin. It's not a Freudian guilt complex, something that you need to deal with. So there's two different systems of the life lesson here is that we must choose to be friends with the Lord. Friends of the world. We cannot be both. We must choose to be friends of the Lord are friends with the world.
We cannot be both.
That is a radical statement but seek here's the picture that Jesus is taken he saying you know what you're going to be conformed to one thing or another. You're either going to be conformed to my image and fallen me. You're going to be conformed to the image of the world now understand some people have looked at this and I said okay will were just going to go live on some deserted all around the desert going to bury our heads beneath the set think Jesus is saying that he saying be in the world but not of the world be different, represent the light, the salt and the light and so Jesus and let you you have to you have to make the decision here.
This is the rub. And I mean this is when you make decisions, there's always a temptation to make a decision based upon what the expectations of the world are what are people going to think and that's a valid consideration, especially we've gathered mature believers around you but what's the tendency for us to think, must be honest first thing we think is what's everybody else can.
What's the world that I think when the first thing we should think is what Scott going to think about this. What is God think of my life right now what is good. I think about this decision.
Romans chapter 12 verses one into says, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God, we give you that in the new living translation to and so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind he accepted that he will accept when you think of what he is done for you. Is this too much to ask. Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is you want to know the will of God for your life.
There is the recipe. There is the recipe submit yourself to God. Give yourself to God and you'll know what he wants you to do and notice it says by changing the way you think changing the way you think now the world system has pressure for you to conform to it. I understand that I mean there's there's a certain amount of pressure for you to conform to the world standards and in a while some listings may be harmless fads or fashions or something like that even some of those can cause a lot. There's a pressure for you to subscribe to the morals and the values in the priorities of the world and that's where you have to reject that while because that's not following Jesus.
That's following the world see in what you say Jesus I want you to forgive me of my sins and we pray that prayer and part of that prayer is give me the power to follow you follow you not to follow the world anymore. I'm getting further and further to be honest away from the word Christian notate one because it it's lost its meaning. I use follower of Jesus more than I use Christian you know a lot because I think it's a more descriptive term.
Following Jesus to match your question. Who are you following want to be like Jesus.
That's the choice I make an everybody in this room has to make it. Nobody can make it for you and my kids are grown up way too fast, but the reality is they have to make the decision. I can't make it for boy I would've I could but I can't. All I can do is give them enough information to make a good decision and hope it that some point that they will make good decisions. Think about the landscape of humanity. All the people who ever existed on this planet.
I don't see anybody that is more appealing and more irresistible than Jesus as a look at all the people of Alexander Julius Caesar and all these people. Jesus is the one I want to be like Jesus is the one I will follow.
He's in a week within the wedding ceremony we we have that one. Others called the best man. Jesus was really the best man. The best representative of humanity that's ever walked on this planet to be like him and the amazing thing is he wants me to be like as a matter fact as he picks us and is it to be his disciples understand when a rabbi picked his disciples who he was going to bring up into the law. He was saying you know what I think you can do the things I do.
I think you can be like me and so when Jesus looked at the disciples and said, follow me. Part of it was you do this you can do this when Jesus chose you.
As we talked about last week. He said the same thing you can do this now understand you know it we sit here ago outlets to be different to love that's that's difficult. All you don't don't try to reason it out in your mind because you'll get into you know analysis paralysis is what to call you know you'll sit there goes well is just no way I figured it out wrote it all out did a diagram and everything I can't do it right. You can't do it, but you can do it the in and of your own strength. You can't do it. But in his strength. You can do you understand that technically, that a bumblebee cannot fly. I mean they've done these test with dynamics and in wind tunnels and stuff and they come to the conclusion that the bumblebee really should not be able to fly.
Nobody told the bumblebee because the bumblebee can fall because of its weight in a way that wings are it, but it does fly right you may look at the thing zero technical analysis paralysis.
I can do these things will limit Jesus is saying that you can do leasing. Jesus, the guy who looked at a lame manage to get up and walk. The guy started walking. Jesus looked at a dead man's I get up another great guy Kamal a grave is now telling you to love one another and in look look at this now. Love one another world can a world hate you love one another DC how the love in the community of believers become so so hard to now understand Jesus and don't be surprised by this, don't be surprised by the tension don't be surprised by these things.
This is just part of it, 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. God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you. 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 could have a new life not done wrong things I have sent 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 if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible you've been forgiven you've been born again. Jesus said he would not turn anybody away who comes to him and he came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness. Those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations Springer 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 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 he 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 through cross the bridge. Thank you so much ODA before we go. What are some ways that we can bless our listeners each day.
You can wake up with encouragement Pastor David to the word of God with his email devotional life lessons to consider daily reading and the thought to meditate on.
Throughout today from the heart.
David McGee those are terrific and it's easy and it's free so folks sign up email@example.com.
Thanks again for listening and join us next time. As David McGee continues teaching verse by verse in the gospel of God