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Can Jesus Still Care When I Mess Up? Dane Ortlund

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 14, 2024 5:15 am

Can Jesus Still Care When I Mess Up? Dane Ortlund

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 14, 2024 5:15 am

Are you longing for someone to care about you? Dave Ortlund unpacks Ephesians 5 revealing the true character of Jesus. Does Jesus love me? Could Jesus actually care for me even though I have messed up?

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We tend to think we know what Jesus is like. Who he is. But for many of us, actually, we are cold and flat in our Christian life and we don't know why.

And the reason maybe that the Jesus that we think is there is a junior varsity, decaffeinated, bobblehead Jesus. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. You can find us at

This is Family Life Today. We're going to listen to a message today from Pastor Dane Ortlund that he gave on our cruise, the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise. And we love Dane Ortlund.

Oh, we love Dane Ortlund. He's been on Family Life Today many times. He wrote a phenomenal book called Gentle and Lowly. We've interviewed him about that.

Another book called Deeper, which is one of my favorite devotionals. Having he and Stacy on the boat was just awesome when we saw him on the first day. And I'll tell you what, you're going to hear part of his message.

And if you hear what he's saying at the beginning, you're like, why am I not on that boat? You can be on it next year.

You can go right there and sign up. And Dane talked about, you know, I believe it's a theme of his life, his preaching at Naperville Church up in Chicago area and of his writing. It's the whole idea of gentle and lowly. But he goes to the passage in Ephesians where Paul talks about marriage.

And he uses two words that Paul uses that are very similar to gentle and lowly. But now it's applied to your marriage. So you're going to love this. What an absolute joy and honor it has been for my bride Stacy and me to be with you this week. This has been an absolute blast. We had never been on any cruise of any kind before and have just loved being with you. David, thank you.

And Tim Bell and the whole Family Life crew have been such gracious hosts. What fun. So I am very, very happy to be with you tonight. I want to talk to you tonight with the time that I have about Jesus. When I say that, what I mean is the real Jesus Christ. So let's begin with prayer. Father in heaven, what a glorious evening.

We're already going to float out of here. Now as we stare at a couple of little nuclear Bible texts, your actual word, won't you take it and plunge our hearts by your Holy Spirit way down deep into these truths? The Bible's smarter than us, so let us see it and have the audacity to believe it.

Like Job said at the very end of the book of Job, I had heard about you, now my eyes have seen you. Won't you do that wondrous miracle that you love to do in the heart of each one here who needs to experience that? This we pray as we offer ourselves to you afresh in Jesus' name.

Amen. We've been talking about marriage all week long. Stacey and I have gotten help. I didn't know we were going to get help this week.

I thought we were just coming to talk. We have gotten help from you. Thank you. Dave and Ann up here and other breakouts. Just excellent.

Really good, wonderful stuff. We've been thinking about marriage all week long. What, friends, we are going to do tonight is think together about the love of which every human romance is a whisper, an echo, a shadow, the love that is yours to enjoy. Now what I'm about to say, you do not believe this when you're all out of bed in the morning first thing.

The love that is yours to enjoy apart from whatever ruin and wreckage you may be negotiating in your marriage right now. In other words, I want to talk to you about the Lord Jesus Christ and here's the challenge that I'm facing and just in case you haven't gotten it yet, I'm going to speak plainly with you, all right? The challenge that I face in this moment that actually we're all facing together is that we tend to think we know what Jesus is like, who he is. But for many of us, actually, we are cold and flat in our Christian life and we don't know why.

And the reason may be, if you trace it down to the root, it may be that the Jesus that we think is there is a junior varsity, decaffeinated, bobblehead Jesus. I graduated when I was 31 with my fourth degree in Bible and theology, angry in marriage counseling, flat. And I had all my doctrine lined up. I don't know if you know, they let a Presbyterian on the boat. I had all my theology lined up, but I didn't know yet who Jesus was, what he's really like, what his heart is.

And maybe that's true for you to some degree this week as well. So here's the text I want to put sort of as the banner over our time together here tonight, okay? This is the lit up background over everything we're going to say and think about tonight is one little verse from John chapter 14. Have you ever noticed in John 14, at the end of three years of ministry, it's in the last days of his life, when Jesus comes up to Philip, Philip was putting some theology questions to Jesus. And he says, hey, Philip, have I been with you so long and you still don't know me?

Oh, three years walking, he had seen him raise the dead, feed the crowds, like Brian said in his prayer, multiply the bread and the fish, heal from a distance, walk on the water, sat at his feet for three straight years. And he comes to the end and Jesus looks him in the face and says, you don't know me yet. And could it be, I'm asking directly but respectfully, might it be, guys, that the Jesus that you're bored with, if you are, and I won't assume you are, many of you in the room tonight are out ahead of me in being thrilled with the Lord Jesus Christ and you need to help me. So I'm just asking the question and I want to say, the Jesus, if you are, the Jesus that you are bored with, the Jesus you're yawning at, ain't the real Jesus.

That's not him. We're listening to Pastor Dane Ortlund and the talk that he gave on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise just a few weeks ago. I don't know about you, we've heard this talk, but I'm still like, oh, I can't wait to hear how he finishes this. I remember sitting there when he said that that's not the real Jesus. The whole room got real quiet, like I think I have been sometimes following a misconstrued version and Dane takes the rest of the message and says, okay, let's go to the scripture and let's find out what the real Jesus is. And it's not the Jesus a lot of us grew up believing in. It is the accurate depiction of who he really is. And when you see him as he really is, it's inspiring.

Don't you feel like most people don't know? Like you and I, before we knew Jesus, we thought he was boring. He's just all about rules.

He gets everybody in trouble and smites, smotes, smites everyone, smotes everyone. And that's not Jesus. That's not the real Jesus. And when you see who he really is, you are captivated. And so let's let Dane reveal to us who the real Jesus is.

So what is the real Jesus like? What I want to do is pick up one passage that I'm sure you have heard referenced at least one time throughout the course of our week together. It's from Ephesians chapter five. If you want to pull that text up on your device, follow along. I'm going to look really closely at the language of the text.

So I encourage you to look around if you want to just listen and soak, that's great too. Ephesians chapter five. And what I'm going to do is if you want to know my plan tonight, just three simple steps.

We're going to take most of our time on the first one. Three simple steps. First I want to look at Ephesians 5, 29. Actually just two words in that one verse. Two words in Ephesians 5, 29. Reflect on that with you. And this is new for me, honestly. I've just discovered the wonder of this passage, so I'm fired up about it.

Ephesians 5, 29. Then I want to raise a possible objection that you may be having as you are listening. Okay? And briefly seek to field that and answer that. And then very briefly, thirdly and finally, I want to just ask the question, how do we then apply this to our lives and marriages?

All right? Ephesians 5, 29. An objection.

How do we apply it? First Ephesians 5, 29. I'm going to begin at verse 28. Here's what God says in his word, husbands.

I'm picking up in the middle of where Paul's talking to husbands. Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. Not husbands should use their wives for their own bodies. Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.

Why? He who loves his wife loves himself. The premise clearly being you and your wife are one. You hate or love both together, both or neither. He who loves his wife loves himself, verse 29. For no one ever hated his flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. I noticed that phrase for the first time in my life about a year ago, and I've been noodling on it ever since. I haven't taught on it yet.

It's my first time. But I have been thinking about this phrase, those two words. Have you ever stopped to notice this, friends? Nourishes and cherishes. No one ever hated his own flesh. He's talking about husbands and wives. But nourishes and cherishes his own flesh, comma, and now he's going to go vertical again, just as Christ does the church.

Wow. All I want you to walk out of here tonight with is the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven above, in defiance of the way you think he is reflexively and instinctively cherishes you, nourishes you, especially at your worst. It is at, I can hear Barbara Parish, saintly old sister in Christ at my dad's church in Nashville saying the one thing I learned at this church was that it is at my point of deepest shame, regret, and anguish that Jesus loves me the most. Look there at verse 29 with me. No one ever hated, by the way, I've taught before in verse 25, he loved and laid down his life for. Christ did, for the church, and husbands should do the same. I've taught on that. He loved the church and laid down his life.

I've never looked really at this. Verse 29, no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church. When you hear the church, don't think just as Christ does Naperville Presbyterian Church, the organization, he's talking about you when it says the church. If you're a Christian, if you're in Christ, he's talking about you there.

If you slice your finger while you're working in the kitchen or in the garage, how do you treat your body in light of that, that wounded, hurt, injured body part? That is how the Lord Jesus Christ treats you, not once you get your act together. That is how the Lord Jesus Christ, you are free to believe this, that's how the Lord Jesus Christ treats you when you are screwing up, wandering, and fickle, when you are suffering at the hands of others, and when you are yourself sinning.

You're his body part. When Saul was knocked off his horse in Acts chapter 9, have you ever noticed what the risen Lord Jesus says to him when he comes and says, hey, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting? He doesn't say, why are you persecuting my people?

That would have been true. He says, Saul, Saul, as Saul is throwing Christians in prison, why are you persecuting me? Because for you to touch Christians is for you to touch, Jesus says, my own body.

That's how Jesus feels about you. How do you treat a finger when you slice it? You don't berate it, you tend it. You bandage it. You care for it.

You are ginger toward it. You're tender with it. When you are hurting individually or in your marriage, what are the verbs? If I were to ask you, wake up in the middle of the night and say, hey, how does Jesus treat you when you're doing badly individually or in your marriage? What are the two verbs you would attach to the way Jesus is towards you? Are you not at least a little like me and assume at a gut level that the two verbs that he would come at you with are something like grumbles and complains? Taps his foot and crosses his arms.

When are you going to get it together, doofus? Tolerates and checks his watch. Some of you feel way down deeply that that's the way the Lord Jesus comes to you because it was put into you by close family, parents, or others as you were growing up that that's how those above you come at you when you're screwing up. And you are spending a lifetime unlearning the assumption that the Lord Jesus Christ is a bigger, smiley, or nicer version of your dad.

And he's not. The correct answer for the question, what are the two ways that Jesus comes to you when you are hurt, either because of your own stupidity or someone else, are nourishes and cherishes? You say, Dan, I think I can believe that as far as back then when I was an on-fire, early, zealous Christian disciple. But I piled up a lot of sins between then and now. Or maybe you're thinking, once I just get on the other side of this area in my life where I am most defeated, then I will be a recipient of Jesus nourishing and cherishing me. Don't you believe that? I think that way.

Here's the problem. Back in verse 25, what's the difference, if you have the text open, what's the key difference between verses 25 and 29 and the verbs Paul uses? They're different verbs, but what's the other difference? He loved me and died for me. He nourishes and cherishes. The difference is, back in 25, he's talking about something Christ did in the past. Well, we come to verse 29 and he says he nourishes and cherishes. He does not say he nourished and he cherished, or he will nourish and cherish you once you get your obedience meter a little higher. If you're in Christ, you are one, however you are doing, whom the Lord Jesus Christ above nourishes and cherishes. Let's just unpack each of those words really quickly here, nourishes and cherishes. By the way, as we look at these, there's nothing mushy about what we're talking about with the Lord Jesus Christ.

I only got one talk, so I'm cramming it in here and emphasizing what verse 29 gives us here, but this verse 29, Christ, is the Christ of, for example, Revelation 1, who when he shows up and reveals himself to the apostle John, and his hair is like wool and his eyes are like blazing fire and he has a double-edged sword coming out of his mouth and he's totally overwhelming, his voice like thunder in many waters, and John falls down in a comatose state. So overwhelmed was he at the mere sight of the risen glorified Christ. That's the Christ we're talking about here, who nourishes and cherishes. He nourishes.

What does that mean? It means he's one who loves to foster growth, tend to help along, support, feed. What a three or four-course meal the black crab does for your body the Lord Jesus Christ does for you in your inner self, your heart, your soul. The assumption there, of course, is that only someone with need and weakness is going to need nourishing. Superman doesn't need nourishing. Don't think that you need to improve morally for Jesus to nourish you. It's what he lives to do.

We've been listening to a message given by Pastor Dane Orland on our Love Like You Mean It marriage truths just a few weeks ago. Yeah, by the way, if you're wondering, what in the world is the black crab? That the black crab nourishes you? That was the name of the restaurant on the boat, one of the restaurants. There's like 10 of them. I'm telling you what, you want to be a part of that boat next year at

Sign up right now. You'll hear speakers like Dane Orland. He was so right. It's like we unlearn what we've grown up thinking Jesus is like. Just to feel his affections toward us, even when we've messed up, that was inspiring. Well, I'm still blown away by the thought that God in Jesus is so tender towards me at my worst.

Isn't that hard to believe? Yeah, I tell you what, I don't know if anybody can communicate it the way Dane does. There's just something about his excellence with the scripture and yet his emotional heart that connects together that just reminds you this is the Jesus we love and this is how Jesus loves us.

So I think it'd be great after this message today just to have an application. What do we do with this great information? Really, it's the gospel that he's presented. And I think the best thing we can do is run to God. Feel his tender care afresh. And maybe you don't feel that.

Maybe you think he's judging you. I would say start getting in the Word every day. Read the Psalms. Read the Gospels.

Be reminded of how much Jesus loves you. Yeah, when you said run to God, I was like, how do you run to God? I think another way to think about that is confess. When you confess your sin and mistakes and shortcomings, you're telling him the truth. And I think we hide.

Yeah, I do too. And I think it's because we're afraid of what his judgment will be. But when you understand what Dane was saying about his tender mercies and love for you, you're going to understand when you confess and be honest with yourself and with God, he's going to meet you with tenderness. He's going to meet you with tender love. The sin has been judged on the cross by Jesus. He paid for that sin.

So why carry it around anymore and why hide it? Get into the light and then start fresh. And maybe your prayer is something like, God, I must not have a clear picture of you the way Dane is talking about because I see you as being judgmental. I feel like you haven't been there. I feel like I don't see you in the light that Dane is talking about. Lord, teach me.

Help me discover who you really are. We're not done yet. There's going to be more Dane Ortlund tomorrow and you're going to hear a little bit more of this message. And I just want to say again, next year you can be sitting there right in those seats with us. Just go to, sign up and you'll be there with us. Amen.

I'm Shelby Abbott and you've been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson on Family Life Today. You know, we talk about the fun perks of being on a week-long cruise with your spouse and there certainly are plenty of those. But the real beauty of the Love Like You Mean It cruise is what God continually does in the lives of married couples on the cruise who are looking to Jesus as the only source of hope. Christ is in the business of changing lives.

He just is. And he does that so powerfully on the cruise. So what if next year's Valentine's Day was characterized by your radical spiritual growth because you and your spouse took a week to sail on the Love Like You Mean It cruise? It would be the best Valentine's Day ever because it would be just the beginning of a lifetime of walking with God alongside your husband or wife. So I want to encourage you to sign up right now. This is going to be the lowest price that will be available for this sailing. It goes from February 8th to the 15th, sailing out of Miami, Florida, the year 2025. We expect it to sail out again, so I want to encourage you to sign up. The link will be available in the show notes or you can go to and click on the Love Like You Mean It banner.

Or you can give us a call to make your reservation at 800-358-6329. That's 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word, you guessed it, today. So tomorrow, why does Dane Ortlund reject formulaic spirituality? Well, he's going to emphasize the value of embracing faith experiences without over-analysis. That's tomorrow and he will join us then. I'm excited for that. On behalf of my friends Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-14 07:11:49 / 2024-03-14 07:21:00 / 9

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