Excuse me, Jesus.
The line says 12 items or less, and you have like 15 or more. So get out of this line. I mean, you just wouldn't do that, right? Or would you be at a restaurant and go, excuse me, Jesus, we ordered our food like a half hour ago.
Wondering where it is. You wouldn't say that, right? And yeah, the Bible says when you say that to another person that knows Jesus, or really to another person at all, you are saying it to Jesus. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. While dealing with people can be difficult, we need to understand that in relationships, we should just treat others like we would treat Jesus. Find out how this can be today as Pastor David continues in Romans 15 with his teaching, One Another.
Here's David McGee. Turn with me to Romans chapter 15. Let's look at verse five.
It says, now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus. Let's realize that one of the strategies of the enemy, and if you believe in God, you have to believe that he has an enemy and it's real as according to his taught in the Bible. One of the strategies of the enemy is to get you to have a wrong perception of God. And if you look through history and you look at what is taught in some churches today, you can see how effective this strategy has been. So many people today think that God is kind of like some cosmic spiritual sniper in the sky, waiting for somebody just to do the little smallest thing wrong, and he's keeping them in the cross hairs and he's ready to take them out.
The moment they just vary just a little bit from the path, he's like, I gotcha. So many people believe that is God. Let's look in verse five. How does verse five describe the God of patience and comfort? Does that sound like a cosmic spiritual sniper in the sky?
No. God of patience, God of comfort. God is very patient with us. God has been patient with me. I look over my life and I think, man, God has been so patient with me. And whenever I'm tempted to be impatient with my children, I remember how patient God has been with me. How patient does God want us to be with each other? Well, I don't know how patient has he been with you? I know in my life he's been very patient with me.
Just waiting, waiting. He's going to figure it out at some point. I'll do something wrong and God's like, ah, I'll bring him around, bring him around. God of patience, I love that. And also, since God is at work in our lives, it means he's never going to lose interest in our life.
That's comforting. As well as, look at this, God of comfort. Now sometimes, friend, we can get in a hurry, but you need to understand God is not in a hurry. God's not up there, oh, got to hurry, got to come on, got to get that antichrist in place, got a tribulation coming, oh, good, got a lot to do, got a lot to do.
He's very patient. And a God of comfort. Let's look at this in this verse in a couple of translations, New Living Translation. It says, may God who gives us patience and encouragement help you live in complete harmony with each other, each with the attitude of Christ Jesus towards the other. That's a pretty convicting verse, isn't it? The amplified version says, now may the God who gives the power of patient endurance, steadfastness, and who supplies encouragement grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another in accord with Christ Jesus. Mutual harmony, full sympathy. When you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you. And at that point, Jesus is, in this verse, the Holy Spirit is saying, you know what, treat each other the way you would treat Jesus, because you really are treating Jesus that way.
Now, again, this is a challenge because we often don't think in these terms. Maybe you think some of the things, you know, you do some of the things you say and, excuse me, Jesus, I was in line before you. I mean, that just doesn't, you know, being at the grocery store.
Excuse me, Jesus, the line says 12 items or less, and you have like 15 or more. So get out of this line. I mean, you just wouldn't do that, right? Or would you be at a restaurant and go, excuse me, Jesus, we order our food like a half an hour ago, wondering where it is. You wouldn't say that, right?
And yeah, the Bible says, when you say that to another person that knows Jesus, or really to another person at all, you are saying it to Jesus. Or imagine being in a parking lot, waiting on a parking space. I don't know what particular things tweak you, but then somebody pulls in and takes your parking space. What do you do?
Beef the horn? Excuse me, Jesus, that's my parking space. You wouldn't do that, right? On the highway, somebody gets in front of you, Jesus, get out of the way.
You wouldn't do these things. And yet we do these things. And when we do these things, we're not treating other people the way that we would treat Jesus. Would you gossip about Jesus?
Did you hear about Jesus? People did that when he was here in his earthly ministry. If we wouldn't gossip about Jesus, why gossip about one another? Because in that moment, friend, we are gossiping about Jesus. I think we need to elevate our thoughts in this because that is what God is calling us to do, to think more highly of one another. So much of the Bible, if you think about it, deals with, in this particular portion of scripture, deals with how we are to get along with one another. Now, the more I look, the more that's disturbing to me because it really is like a tender, patient father teaching his children how to get along with each other, how to share toys, how to, you know, it's like, man, he spends his time telling us these things.
Why? Because we don't do them. So Paul, under the power, the unction, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, is telling these things. Go back and so this attitude has to begin to invade and pervade our life, has to, as we follow Jesus.
This is what it's supposed to look like. When you go back in the Hebrew scriptures, Genesis 13, 8, Abram, they're picking out the lay of the land. Who gets the good land? Who gets the not so good land? So Abram said the lot. Please let their people be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brethren. And there's two sections of land and Abram says, hey, you know what?
Take your peg. And of course, the Bible says that Lot took the better portion, but then had to deal with, of course, Sodom and Gomorrah. This whole thing of preferring one another in love promotes this thing we call unity. And this portion of scripture will be talking about this, but this, this way we fit together. You know, when you do a jigsaw puzzle, not every piece looks the same, does it?
They're all different. And yet they all fit together. And that's supposed to be the body of Christ. And Jesus was very, very concerned with this thing we call unity.
Now understand, I'm not talking about a worldwide ecumenical, let's all come together of different faiths and, you know, hold hands and sing Kumbaya kind of thing. There are some things that are worse arguing about and disagreeing about Jesus. Jesus is the son of God. Jesus died and was, and rose again for our sins. Okay.
He was not a prophet who fainted on the cross. But that being said, a lot of times we get into all these different little factions and figuring out what we can disagree. And I, you know, I mean, I'm up here being convicted because I've done it. And, you know, in the past, I've spoken about, for instance, the Lord's prayer. And, you know, I grew up in a denominational church where we just kind of muttered the Lord's prayer. Nobody really thought about what it meant. We just all kind of were doing that because that's what we were supposed to do.
Sit in the old stand, read this, read that sort of thing. And I know there was probably some people in there that it meant a lot too. Okay.
And I don't want to diminish that or anything. I do think that, you know, we consider that our Father who art in heaven, the Lord's prayer, that's the name we gave it. If you want to see the prayer of the, our Lord, the prayer of Jesus, you really need to look at John 17, which when Jesus was with his disciples, this was his last big prayer meeting that was recorded for our benefit. And Jesus prays for himself. He prays for the disciples, and then he prays for all believers. And that prayer for all believers, we see some fairly interesting things. John 17, 20, Jesus is saying this, and this is that prayer. It says, I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word. So that's us. Those people who will believe in me through the word of the disciples.
And look what he takes his time and places his emphasis on. That they all believe in me. That they all may be one.
As you, Father, are in me and I in you. That they also may be one in us. That the world may believe that you sent me.
Now look at that. That they may be one. That they may be in unity. Why? That they, the world, may believe that you sent me.
That's the real deal. And the glory which you gave me, I have given them that they may be one just as we are one. Are you with me? That we be as one. I in them and you in me that they may be made perfect in one. That the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me. Father, I desire that they also whom you gave me may be with me where I am and that they may behold my glory which you have given me. For if you have loved me before the foundation of the world, a righteous father of the world has not known you, but I have known you and that these have known that you have sent me and I've declared to them your name and will declare it.
That the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them. I was, when I went back a couple weeks ago and actually this past week and just read that whole chapter, I was amazed at the emphasis that Jesus was putting on that unity. That they may be one and yet the human condition and its fallen nature and selfishness and pride and egotism and all the stuff we are.
Not only do we have hundreds of denominations, but even people in one church don't seem to be able to agree to disagree on some stuff. That's why Jesus was praying this. God, help them to get along.
If you've got more than one child, you've probably prayed that prayer before, haven't you? God, help them to get along because they just, you know, I grew up with two older brothers and we've just always, we would fight at the drop of a hat, man. You know, I mean sometimes it's just a look and it was on and we were rolling around on the floor, you know, and when we were, my wife grew up basically an only child and, you know, when our boys were growing up, they got, that's, they tussled, they'd wrestle, they'd fight, you know, and I forget one day, Nora came to me and she said, I got to talk to you, I said, what? She said, I think there's something wrong with the boys. I said, what do you mean?
She said, they just fight all the time. And? I said, I mean, that's what we do. You know, that's, something might be wrong if they weren't doing that, you know? And so that's our nature. We, we kind of do that and I understand, and again, I'm as guilty or guiltier than anybody in here about this, but we, you're, you're not right about everything. I may be, but no, I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I'm not right about everything. I am very, I am highly opinionated. No doubt about it. I'm highly opinionated, but I'm not right about everything.
Now, which things am I wrong about? I don't know. I dig in this word. I search it out. I try to figure out what it's speaking to, to different issues, but still sometimes I face the issue and I'm like, God, I don't know what to do here.
You know, there's a family struggling or marriage struggling. It's like, God, what do you want me to do? Now there's a verse that was kind of a different take on the verse. First Corinthians 15, 51 says this, behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.
Leave that up for just a minute. I always thought this would be a really cool sign to put in the, in the infant section in our children's ministry. We ain't taking naps, but we'll have our diapers changed, you know? So now this is talking about the change of our physical nature. If you read the whole chapter, we're talking about the change of our physical nature. But I started thinking about this unity thing and our, all our little quirks and little things. And I started thinking of it in context that when we get into the presence of Jesus, we will be changed.
And you know what? We will be changed. Part of what we think will be changed. When you get to heaven, one of your little pet peeves is going to have to go. There is going to be that moment in heaven for all of us, this big, Oh, okay.
Didn't know about that. We will be changed what we think. And so keep that in mind that we're all wrong about something.
Now, again, I'm not talking about the essentials of the faith. I'll mention that a few times, just so everybody's on the same page. You've been listening to Cross the Bridge. We'll return to David's study in Romans in just a moment. But first I would like to let you know about a new product that we're excited about here at Cross the Bridge. Each year, David McGee spends countless hours coming through the Bible in preparation to teach God's Word. This is clearly seen every week as he proclaims the amazing truths found in the Bible to his home church and through the radio ministry. That's why this month we want you to be blessed by some of our favorite teachings from this year with the Cross the Bridge Best of 2013.
These three powerful teachings will help you to live victoriously in Christ through a better understanding of who Jesus really is. The Best of 2013 is our gift to you this month when you give to Cross the Bridge. Your gift will be used to reach countless people with the Gospel while also encouraging other believers to stand firm in the faith. To help us take God's Word to the world, please contact us at 877-458-5508 or visit us online at crossthebridge.com. Friend, do you have a heart for the lost? I invite you to send us the first names of your lost loved ones and we will have hundreds of people praying for them. Just go to crossthebridge.com and click on the prayer button and you'll enter their name. And if you put your name and email address in there, I'll send you free resources to equip you to pray and teach you how to reach your lost loved ones. Please, don't wait.
This is so important. So please, again, go to crossthebridge.com and click on the prayer button and send us the first names of lost loved ones. We'll send you some free information and together we can partner to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world, the whole book for the whole world. Now let's return to David McGee's verse-by-verse teaching in the book of Romans. Verse 6 says, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. One mind and one mouth. Again, this thing of unity, being of one mind. Does that mean we agree on everything? No, it can't.
It cannot mean that. You know, before you get married, you think that you and your wife are going to agree on everything. You know, you think, oh, it's going to be wonderful. We're just going to agree on everything. And probably at some time during the honeymoon, it occurs to you, it doesn't work like that, that you love each other through these disagreements. And that's a picture of the body of Christ. We love each other through these disagreements. So often we're like, well, I disagree with you about this. I'm leaving in a huff.
I'm going over here, going over there. How sad that is. When I was, I went to UNCG, studied classical music and stuff. And there was this class I took called symphonic chorus. There was like 200 people in this class and we'd all sing together and stuff.
And David Pegg, the professor, incredible musician, incredible ear. It was very intimidating and daunting because we would like sing one note or something and he could walk through the entire room and go, somebody's flat right over here. I mean, just had an incredible ear.
And how do you hear one voice out of two? But he did it. Now I did something that is either really intelligent or kind of sneaky, depending on your perspective.
But one of my friends in school was the youngest musician ever played with the Greensboro Symphony, played cello and had incredible music knowledge. We became friends. And so when we came to difficult passages, I discovered that I kind of leaned into him just a little bit.
I could tell exactly what he was doing and singing. And so whenever we came to difficult passages, I would kind of lean over and make sure that I was articulating the same way that he was doing it. Having the mind of Christ is leaning into Jesus and thinking, Jesus, what do you want me to do? How do you want me to do this? How do you want me to react? How can I treat this other person like Jesus? Now, we had that big thing a few years ago. What would Jesus do? And it was kind of cool.
I think it kind of got commercialized and people really kind of might have lost its flavor a little bit. Here's what the New Living translation says of this verse is, then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. And again, I'm kind of into the Amplified right now for this section. In the Amplified, that together you may unanimously with united hearts and one voice praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, without reservation, unity, unanimously, one voice. It's pleasing to God when we dwell in unity.
Now, again, we get this thing of unity. That means we're agreeing on everything. No, it doesn't.
No, it doesn't. I know that in this world of, I don't even know how many channels are on the cable thing now. I got channels I wasn't aware I had, you know, 500 channels. I don't know how many, but you know, if they've got like channels about everything now, and so we get to pick every little thing and, and even that's not enough.
You know, now we have DVRs where you can record the thing, you can edit out the commercials. And so in this world, we think that our personal preferences should be elevated to the status of deity. That they're more important than what we agree on. You have your personal preferences. I have my personal preferences. They are not the same, friend.
And we have to both be okay with that. Remember this differences? Yes. Division?
No. We're going to have differences. We can have differences without having division. I can accept the fact that every person in here, if they were the senior pastor, the church would be different. I can accept that. Why?
Because you're different than I am. But through some cosmic humor of God, he has made me the senior pastor here. He told you in his word, he was going to use the foolish things to confound the wise. So if you just want to hold onto that verse and consider me foolish and consider yourself wise, go with it, friend. So we have to be okay with that.
I have to understand that. You have to understand that everything here is not going to go exactly the way that you want it to go. But people are going to get saved here. People are going to be discipled here. The word of God is going to be taught. And if you turn and you're looking towards the little petty differences, that's what you're going to see and that's what you're going to walk away with. But if your eyes are open to what God is doing in a miraculous fashion in this place, you'll see it week after week after week. Two things mentioned in these passages over and over, the word of God and prayer, the word of God and prayer, the word of God and prayer. As we engage in verse four talked about, hey, you know, these things, whatever things were written before, as you engage in these things, you know what happens to your, do our petty differences gain significance when you spend time in the Bible, spend time in prayer?
No. What happens? They diminish. And the moment we begin to say things like, I would this and I think this and we be careful, be careful. Let's go on to verse seven. Therefore receive one another just as Christ also just as Christ also received us to the glory of God. How did Christ receive us? Well, he gave us a little, a list of all the criteria that we needed to meet in order to have a relationship with him. And is that what he did?
No. No, Jesus did everything to break down the wall that was between us. And this verse says, we're supposed to receive one another like that. Now let's understand that is not our natural inclination. Our natural inclination is the moment we kind of meet somebody. So we begin to size them up. We begin to guess at what kind of person they are, maybe what they do for a living, where they live, what they drop, all these different things and kind of that is not Jesus. That's the world. The world says, analyze people around you because one of them may be your enemy.
One of them may hurt you. This verse says, receive one another as Christ receives you. You see how Jesus receives us every Sunday morning when I give an invitation and people respond. If you're here today and you're not sure you know Jesus as your Savior, I'm going to give you the opportunity to respond at the end of this. And when people begin to respond, it's just a glorious thing. And I just, it's awesome as people begin to, and sometimes people timid and they're, oh, I don't know. Can you imagine if somebody begins that walk of me jumping down from a platform going, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute there, buddy. You can't just come to Jesus as you are.
I need to have a little interview here before we just don't accept anybody. That's not what Jesus does. That's not what he did with me. And being honest, you know, I thought, man, when I came to Jesus, I thought, I thought I was gonna say no.
That's not what he did. He accepted me and forgave me and built a relationship built upon mercy and grace with me. And that is our model in the church today. We should treat each other like we would treat Jesus. We should treat each other like we treat Jesus.
That's a challenge in it. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven? You can know right now. I want to lead you in a 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 could have a new life. And I've 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. 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, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make.
God bless you. Then this new product is just for you, and we'll send it to you as a way of saying thanks for your donation. You can give any time by calling us toll free at 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. While there, make sure to sign up for the free email devotional. That's just one more way we can bless you in your walk with Christ. Again, that website is crossthebridge.com. Thank you for listening, and I pray you'll join us next time as we cross the bridge.
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