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July 23, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. See that's what you're saying but you have to see yourself the way God sees you and you have to see your need to state intimately close with pricing.
You have to understand see yourself as a new creature. In other words, you have to invite Christ, the one your life. You have the meaning see run my life more change anything you want to change and I mean anything joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going pastor will go for now is once again he shows us how God's word meets our John Piper has said that God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him would like to change just one word.
God is most glorified when we are most content in him. Today I want to finish my series on contentment and my premise this whole series is been this contentment is within the reach of all of us and yet so few of us experience it. So far I've said that Jesus Christ was content as our shepherd. He wants us to be content his provision is enough to meet our material and physical needs. His presence is enough to meet our emotional and spiritual needs in his providence is enough to meet our future needs. I want to say then that envy destroys contentment and that contentment can be learned. But according to the apostle Paul. It is a secret. Also, I said that contentment is real wealth and it comes from having a priority in your life of godliness not gain and last time I said that we can be content in the midst of suffering and that suffering is much too important to waste in our lives, but I'm still left with the question is the one thing that would almost guarantee that we would experience contentment as believers in Jesus Christ, so I thought about it and I thought about it and I thought about and I came to the conclusion there is just one word authenticity, authenticity, in other words, there is no way to experience biblical contentment without biblical authenticity may travel together and maybe that's why so many of us don't live lives of contentment because as followers of Jesus Christ we lack authenticity.
You know in the world. There is a whole market for knockoffs you can see them everywhere you can get a knockoff Gucci bag handbag, but it's a knockoff you get a knockoff Rolex watch when Webster and his dictionary says a knockoff is a cheap copy of something authentic on the outside they look virtually identical, but they lack the intrinsic quality of the real item.
My question for you is are you a follower of Jesus Christ.
Are you a spiritual knockoff. You see, it's easy to see in others it is hard to see in the mere Hawthorne wrote this he said no man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as the which may be the true face your consistent level of contentment in your life is a reliable gauge to how authentic you are as a follower of Jesus Christ. Now authentic followers of Christ are not perfect. That is not all what I'm saying.
Let's begin by looking in Psalm 17, Psalm 17, a Psalm of David. If you study the life of David.
There's one thing you know about David. He was authentic. He is described in the New Testament is a man after God's own heart.
And yet he's a man that had real struggles not only committed adultery with Bathsheba and then ordered the execution of her husband Uriah the Hittite David had all kinds of problems with his own family he had anger issues and loss issues. David was not perfect, but David was authentic. Notice what he says in Psalm 17 just to begin the song he says here just because the Lord give heed to my cry give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips. In other words, I'm not blowing smoke at your God.
You see him not being deceitful here. I'm going to be real.
He says let my judgment come from your presence. Let your eyes look with equity you have tried my heart. You have visited. He says me by night. You have tested me and you find nothing, in other words, what's he saying you got talk about perfection. He said I'm authentic. I am you say I am. You see, I am honest in my approach to you.
He understands how privileged he is to look at verse eight he said keep me as the apple of your eye.
I know how much I mean to you God.
You see, the apostle Paul was the same way.
He said the way that you love me God in the book of Ephesians, he said it it it's almost not describable, not knowable, and yet Paul said I am the chief of sinners and number 70 said you know I spend a lot of time doing what I don't want to do and sometimes I spend time doing the very things I don't want to do. Paul struggled with that and yet he was extremely authentic. You see, Jesus knows you and Jesus knows me and here's what's profound.
Jesus knows me. He is completely familiar with the sub atomic particles of me created, the more he really knows me and here's what's profound. He loves me and he loves you he really knows you and he really loves you. See when were not authentic. We struggle with this and the idea becomes because if you think about how you react to other people here had just thought if people really knew me, I would have that many friends. I mean, if you really knew me, you see.
So what we do we put on a face. We project an image we lose authenticity. You see, we lose authenticity and because of we lose it.
We never really experienced the contentment that we should now you might be thinking something here. I think you might be thinking, oh boy this is going to be one of those Roman have to do a lot of introspection psychoanalysis of myself to feel guilty for the next couple days at least not not all it's not hard to be authentic follower of Jesus Christ. That's why said the loads like the yolks easy is not hard.
The first thing you gotta do is just drop the pretense tropic stop at stop pretending in certain settings to be someone else. You see, the one of the things that authentic followers see themselves as they see themselves the way that God sees them. Leon Moore said no man is what he himself thinks he is. He is only what Jesus Christ knows him to be.
That's why am. That's all there is turned to Psalm 139, just a few pages you write Psalm 139 is great Psalm and look at the beginning of the Psalm again. David he says, oh Lord you have searched me and known me, you know when I sit down when I rise up. You understand my thoughts from afar you scrutinize my path and my lying down. You are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word in my tongue, behold, the Lord, you know what all you'll enclose me behind and before you made your hand upon me, please.
As such knowledge is too wonderful meets to I can attain it as I know you know everything there is to know about me a lot think the follower of Jesus Christ understands that. You see, the only person were really falling as ourselves. If you ever authenticity is a follower of Jesus Christ.
You have real contentment regardless of the circumstances of your life seat for some of us what we need to do is just give up give up our pretenses.
Give up all worldly desires in our worldly reputation, give that up. Jesus said it differently. Denise said take up your cross and then he said, follow me and please understand the implication of that.
You're not a follower of Jesus Christ because you say you're a follower that is not a follower of Jesus Christ you're a follower of Jesus Christ. If you follow Jesus Christ. You see, you don't get to decide what a follower is, he decides in the implication. The following is that you are moving where he goes, you go you see what he does. You do take up your cross, a follower of Jesus Christ sees himself as God sees him follower of Jesus Christ. Also knows that they need to stay close to Jesus Christ. Turn with me now to John chapter 15 John chapter 15, you know, the passage, the vine and the branches and there is a keyword and then a key verse in this section, the keyword is comes from Jesus Christ is a word. It's interesting it's the word abide. It means stay close see be intimate with. He says in verse four, abide in me and I in you. By the way how close is a branch of the vine, you see, you have to be totally engrafted in or you're dead. That's the whole point is that close. Notice he says in verse five and I am the vine and you are the branches you abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit and then he says this, but apart from me you can do nothing and that includes being content in knew nothing you can do this on your own. He says in verse seven.
If you abide in me and my words abide in you, he says in verse nine just as the father is love me.
I also love you abide in my love is that if you keep my commandments you be able to abide in my love verse 14 he says you are my friends if you do what I command you. In other words, he says, look abide in me abide in my love and oh by the way, if you love me and you will do what I ask you now apart from me you can't do anything but if you abide in me you can do it. Paul said it differently in the book of Philippians. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. You see, where does the branch get its strength from the get to strengthen the vine. That's what Jesus Christ is a and have authentic follower sees not only themselves as God sees them, but they also see their need to stay so close to Jesus Christ. You may be same but I don't know if I can do that. I haven't done it too well so far, will turn with me now to second Corinthians chapter 5 second Corinthians chapter 5, Paul gives us some insight in verse 14 through verse 17 the apostle Paul here says for the love of Christ controls us.
Having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died and he died for all, and here's the purpose so that they who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who died and rose again on their behalf. There's a description of your life as a believer because Christ died for me.
I don't live for myself anymore. I live for the one who gave me eternal life. Then he says this. Therefore, from now on. He says we recognize no one according the flesh.
Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know a woman this way no longer Jesus is no longer with us. And then this statement therefore if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creature. If anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creature. The old things are passed away.
Behold, new things, the authentic follower Jesus Christ only sees themselves the way God does in only sees their need to stay close to Christ, but they see themselves as new creatures. You see, that's the whole point. See you might be saying why don't have much contentment because I like. I worry all the time but you know my siblings and they worry all the time and my mom and my dad they worried all the time. My grandma were read all the time so I'm just kind of that's just the way I'm wired know that's the way it used to be wired. Your new creature in Christ. The old things are passed away. That's why Jesus that have come to bring you life to give it to you abundantly.
I am not a slave to who I was.
See, I am not an either you contentment is within the reach of all of us.
You see, that's what you're saying but you have to see yourself the way God sees you and you have to see your need to stay intimately close with pricing. You have to understand and see yourself as a new creature in Christ. In other words, you have to invite Christ, the one your life and you have to mean it.
You see, run my life Lord change anything you want to change and I mean anything. See what this comes down to the authentic follower. Lord, I'll do anything anywhere anytime at any cost. That's an authentic follower, you see locking we don't do that because were afraid of what he might ask us to do. How foolhardy is that you see he is uniquely gifted and prepared you to do whatever it is he would want you to do. There's no risk involved in this. When it comes down to your own personal contentment.
So generally speaking, then what does an authentic follower look like will turn with me to Matthew 22 Matthew chapter 22 and again another famous verse, but from a general point of view. If I am an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. What would that look like verse 34 and when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together and one of them, a lawyer, of which most Pharisees were said asking and asking the question he wants to test Jesus Christ is his teacher. What is the great commandment of the law.
Now they want to get him in a theological debate which ones better is a Jesus doesn't even hesitate. He said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and mark ads and with all your strength.
He said this is the great commandment and foremost commandment simple wasn't shocked at first, by the way he repeated this almost every day.
This is the Shema Shema is in Hebrew means to hear hero Israel.
And this comes out of the book of Deuteronomy and this was quoted every day in Jesus is. Yeah, that's the great commandment love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind and all your strength and sometimes we have had that passage taught or preached. What we end up doing is say what does it mean to love him with all your heart and what does it mean the loan with order so mother doesn't mean the Lamb with all your mind and what does it mean to love him with all your strength. I don't think that's what God's going for here.
I think that he is viewing. This is comprehensive. In other words, the user term we use the day. I want you to be all in. You see, I want that love the cover every aspect of who you are what you do. It is an all encompassing love. He also adds to it that in verse 39. The second is like it you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
You see, that's what he is saying. He said if you go to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. You need to love God the way God loves you and you need to love others the way God loves others. Jesus is us the whole law that's all of it and so if that's what and by the way, that is exactly what Jesus Christ did and so if I'm following Jesus Christ and I'm an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. That's what is going to be my mantra that is going to be what guides my life.
You see, my salvation is about him in my life is about him. Even my messages about him.
My struggles are about him. See that's the whole point I am all in so authentic followers are lovers of God and lovers of others know what does that love compel us to do so many things I'm just going to touch on a few of them this morning the first thing it does it compels us to give our lives to God. Turn with me to Romans chapter 12 Romans chapter 12, the apostle Paul was spent all this time in the book of Romans, basically from chapter 1 to the end of chapter 8 telling us how do we get justified before God. What does it take to go to heaven but would that be like what is it we must do is quite clear.
You can only be justified or declared righteous by God.
Based on your faith in faith alone in Christ and Christ alone. That's what he says and then he talks about the spirit of God's ministry in us and then in chapters 9, 10, 11, he goes no parenthetical section where he talks about Israel, but chapter 12 verse one picks up exactly where chapter 8 ends and is he comes the summation.
He says this piece is, therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your body, your life, your bodies a living and a holy sacrifice to God which is your spiritual service of worship. In other words, it's like the old him my life medically consecrated pastor broke apart on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike of the sum of the method one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio program that Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible.
We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly with just the 100 support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds of pastoral sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find the sermon series are looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember, you can do all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org for pastoral Gebhardt. I'm Jason Denhardt. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order