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September 3, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Love not make you love him.
He just stands at the door locks. Is he wants intimacy, not duty.
Once love, not religion. He wants intimacy, not distance you cannot force that joining us today on this additional fellowship in the work of pastoral Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going pastoral Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world the more painful experiences of life is when you're in a relationship with someone and you want the relationship to move forward. You want the relationship to go deeper.
You want the relationship to become more intimate with the other person does not share your perspective. We've all kinda been there may be a dating relationship where what you and hope what happened is it move forward. Never did he can happen between a parent, a child where either the parent or the child wants a deeper, more intimate relationship, but it never comes about can happen with siblings and friends and even your spouse.
You see, there is a principal at work here and that is that nothing you can do will force somebody to have intimacy with you. Nothing you can do can force somebody to have intimacy with you many years ago Bonnie rate sang a song in the course was I can't make you love me if you don't, you can't make a hard feel something it won't.
The Bible presents God as the one who desires an intimate relationship with his people. The father so desires to establish the relationship that he sends the son.
The son so desires.
This intimate relationship that he goes to the cross is the sin bearer, but there's much more than that. Jesus talks about how the Lord when one wayward lamb is lost will leave the flock behind them going bring that one back when the Bible talks about the idea that as a wayward child of God.
The particle finally decides to come back in. The father limestone because he wants to have an established intimate relationship. We should know that right from the very beginning when Adam sinned, after he had sin and he and even hidden God came walking in the garden, crying out, Adam. Adam, where are you God wanting an intimate relationship in the Bible and nothing is changed.
God wants to have an intimate relationship with you any wants a relationship that's not based on ritual.
He wants a relationship.
It doesn't require you to give them a couple hours every Sunday morning he doesn't want a relationship that's only defined by respect. He wants a relationship that's defined by love. That's not necessarily an easy thing for him to have with people just like you and me open your Bibles to Revelation chapter 2 the context the letters to the seven churches in the very first one will be Ephesus, and John writes this and says into the angel of the church in Ephesus write, and we've studied in the past, it's very likely to be their pastor's is the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven golden lampstands. He says this he said I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and then you cannot tolerate evil men, and that you put to test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not you found them to be false and you have perseverance and have endured for my namesake and you have not grown weary when you first look at this and begin to read this you come to the conclusion that this is an impressive church. It's almost like you think the Lord's going to give you a well done good and faithful servant's a good Adam boy visited church and he said I know your deeds. I know your airline your works is that I know those you've done a lot of them.
I know your toil. Nicole Poss is the word, it means how hard you work. I know what you do and how hard you work. He said I know your perseverance in that word is hobo moaning.
It means out how you patiently endure these and I also know that you're doctrinally a student sound, someone comes in teaching lies in you, you know who they are you figuring out is so up till now it seems like this church has everything you'd want and I'm sure that everything that they wanted it just didn't have what he wanted. He said, but I have this against you, you have left your first love is what I have against you. You don't love me while when a warning she won a warning. This is paramount to the Lord. Nothing is more important is the Lord. Remember when Peter failed the Lord and his he failed the ghetto denied the Lord.
Three times he felt really guilty about it and thought while you know I want, but it can be like the leader of the whole group here and now I deny the Lord. I just feel terrible. And then the Lord shows up and talks to Peter and he wants to get Peter back into service and it's really an interesting thing because you would think that the Lord will talk about love Peter as long as you know, that you send in your deal with your sin everything will be fine. Or Peter. You gotta realize that you've been a leader among these 12. The whole time even among you and James and John, you're the leader you have a lot of courage and grabbed the sword cutting you off a guy for me. You're a courageous guy. He didn't say any of that said Peter do you love me Peter didn't get it. Like we don't get it will yes Lord gave you know I love you feed the sheep. Peter do you love me, Lord Siena goes on and on. What you end up happening is see the idea of it is always trying to make his case is simply this. Nothing is more important to the Lord of you're a child of God, then do you love him because that's the intimacy of the relationship. This church look like it had everything going for it, but it didn't at all. You see, the Lord can make you fear him. He can make you respective but he will not make you love him, he will not banish the come from you turn the page. The chapter 3 for a moment. Verse 14 the church at Laodicea 314 and again to the angel of the church at Laodicea write the amen the faithful and true witness, the beginning of creation of God, says this I know your deeds, you neither hot or cold. I wish you were hot or cold. He says so because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold.
I spit you out of my mouth because you say I am rich and I become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you. He says to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that he says the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed. He says in ISAF he says to anoint your eyes so that you may see now notice what happens is a different group. Not quite as good a churches emphasis. But there's something there it's really interesting and really parallel so many of us and add to this if things are going fine in my life. If everything's going fine in my life I got I say get a nice why I'm making good money God and I are fine. That's what they're doing were rich. We got everything. What else could you want really doesn't matter what else you want see it turns out from the Lord's point of view to be indifference toward him. Lukewarmness all you can open your Bible during a sermon. It can shop in church. Most weeks you might say grace, especially in public so people can see you before you eat. And every once in a while, you might say a prayer before you go to sleep.
That's not the same as loving Jesus Christ that something else see the problem with all of that is the perspective visits all about me. So Jesus says this to them.
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline. Therefore, you better be zealous and repent. I love that you what Jesus could've said, don't you know who I am. I'm God you see having you read John or Colossians I created everything I went to the cross. I rose and the dead, and you treat me in a lukewarm matter. You see, he could've done that figure said I demand that you change the dinner when he says he says I will discipline you to get you to change your mind and you know why I love you.
He says those who I love, he said the reason I would discipline you is because I love you that's astounding when you think about it. These jerks seem to have this one thing in common that they really don't love the Lord and when I keep thinking about how good of the Lord reacted to that, even in our lives. But how can the Lord react about this and you could easily seen him saying I demanded, seeing the manger obedience. But you'll never demand her love. Now, what's the solution, and by the way, when the most misinterpreted Bible verses the entire Scriptures. This has nothing to do with unbelievers. This is not evangelistic call. Jesus is talking to believers who are lukewarm to him. He says behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will commend him will dine with him, he with me's knowledge kind of expect King of Kings, Lord of lords. By the way, if you pick up the rest of this start leading and for and then we all went to the end of chapter 4 all the way to the end find out when the Lord comes back in and Revelation 19 and see what kind of God. He is see the power that he has exceed what I'm thinking is what the Lord's going to do for people like you and I don't love him something you just kick the door in half and pop and blow it down. What does he do if you don't love behold I stand at the door and knock can make our love God will not make your heart.
Love him. He loves you but he will not make you love him. He just stands at the door knocks you see he wants intimacy, not duty. He once love, not religion. He wants intimacy, not distance, but he cannot force that upon you. That's up to you and it's so dangerous. If you don't see this term with me. The Gospel of John. John 16 the gospel of John. John 16 the night before Christ was crucified.
When you think of the leaders of Judah describes the Pharisees and Sadducees. These were extraordinarily religious men they had memorized the Pharisees the Old Testament. They knew all the verses they were very, very religious state always showed up. They did their prayers the same time of day they would they get all those disciplines.
He did all that Jesus says this to his disciples. Verse one uses these things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. He says they and that's who he's describing the religious leaders. He said they will make you outcast from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. How if you had an intimate relationship with God. How far could that go Jesus a lot tell you how far to go, they will kill you. And when they kill you, though safe were serving God. Jesus is you want to know why they're so far off the next verse these things they will do because they have not known the father or me know the father.
They have no intimacy with God. They don't have any with me either.
And so they end up monitoring the followers of Jesus Christ. They end up crucifying their own Savior. That's how far off it can come with when your faith becomes religious duty to you rather than love for Christ. Each of us need a personal passion. The pursuit of intimacy with God.
Paul understood this good school. Ephesians chapter 1 Ephesians 1 want to listen to what he said because remember Jesus.
We started this message by saying Jesus speaking to the church of Ephesus.
So Paul was writing to the church of Ephesus there is a difference by the way Paul was writing about, 31, 32 years earlier. So he's writing his letter about 30 years before Jesus is speaking to the church and Revelation and in the beginning of Ephesians 1. One of the greatest sentences in the entire New Testament.
One sentence from verse three all the way through my half of that chapter. What Paul says in verse three. Is this Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, so the first thing that basically in light of what I'm talking about right now. As Paul says, do you know how much the Lord loves you. He's given you every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places only die for you using only penalty for your sin is given you every spiritual blessing and then when he gets down the verse 18 Paul says I want you to see something here.
I want you to see what I want you to have. He said, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of his calling.
He said what are the riches of the glory of the inheritance of the saints what is the surpassing greatness of his power. He says toward us who believe. He says these are in accordance with the working of the strength and might, in which he brought about in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly's. He says the is my prayer for you.
I want you to know God.
I want you to know the Lord.
That's what I want.
It's interesting that when Paul prays he almost never praise the way you prayer. I pray whenever Paul was praying for a friends or a church. He almost never praise ever for their circumstances, the change he almost always prays that the relationship with God would be closer more intimate nothing of how we pray, see so often someone come to me and say pastor. There is a very very terrible thing that could happen. Please pray that it doesn't happen. I'm right or sometimes you come and say pastor. I just want let you know there's this wonderful, wonderful, wonderful thing that might happen.
Please pray that it does happen.
Okay that's all we pray that's pretty much Paul doesn't do is out Tejano pray for you. I pray that you know him in a more meaningful way and you like that so important because if you do, it doesn't matter what happens. That's the difference. Turn to chapter 3 of Ephesians with me and add to verse 14 as he continues the start he says in verse 14. For this reason I bow my knees before the father. Theirs is. He says, from whom every family in heaven on earth derives its name that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with the power of his Spirit in the inner man so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you being rooted and grounded in love, I want you to love him. I want you to love him the way he loves you. You see, that's what I'm praying for grounded and rooted in love, that you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and the length and the hype in the depth and didn't know the love of Christ love this. He says I only want you to love him. I want you to finally get how much he loves you what a great prayer. If you repeat it for yourself.
Lord keep revealing to me how much you love me father convict my heart of my need to love you see it. We miss this and it's easy the church of Ephesus write their pulses look your grade church got a great start. I'm praying that you really love the Lord.
30 years later. What does Jesus say he says you know your wonderful church in so many ways, but I have this against you, you don't love me see how this works. The longer you're in the faith. By the way, the easier it is the fall out of love with Christ, if you don't nurture that relationship you fall out.
Listen the first time I realized what the grace of God meant what the sacrifice of Jesus Christ of the cross was for my sins.
I didn't know anything other much other than the gospel, but I know this how you loved him.
I thought while you save me once forever just because I trust you. I was overwhelmed but you know what, as time goes by is a Christian becomes underwhelming yeah Christ affirmations become a Christian man, your Christian men do they show up in church sleep shop in church yes I do some volunteer and do it and he gives money to to make serving works. You do all that for absolutely nothing. There's no bathroom number on the radio ministry or fellowship nor if you ever miss 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 the fellowship and the word online that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio program at Fellowship in the Word.
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4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is of the sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at 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 sermon series are looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the method you're looking for.
You can listen online work 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 forecaster Bill Gebhardt, Jason Denhardt, thank you for listening to fellowship in order