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January 26, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
I want you to have joy. He said complete fulfill your joy may fool and I'm telling you this is how you do it and being yourself. Give yourself away and you'll be one of those happy people joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word meet our world. This may seem like pure science fiction to some of there was a time when to a gas station and your tires would run over a hose and a bell would ring inside an attendant would run out the pump your gas and and while the gas was pumping up clean your windshield and check your oil and if need be. They could check your tires and even the core level in your radiator and if you believe the commercials of the day. They did all this with a huge smile on their face. They were called full-service gas stations now if you're fortunate the machine will read your credit card because of a dozen you have to go prepay with the clerk inside the station. Full-service gas stations are very rare today and sadly it seems just as difficult to find full-service followers of Jesus Christ Tony heaven says this so often today. Believers simply want to be served last helped encourage counseled love and the like without feeling any means whatsoever of serving anyone. Now you might be thinking maybe I should've stayed home this morning because I'm sure some reason ask for volunteers for something you would be mistaken.
This has nothing to do with volunteers. I've been preaching on the subject of what makes you happy and I want to say to you that when you serve as a lifestyle.
I guarantee it makes you happy now you realize how counterintuitive that seems to sum you that seems almost bizarre seek if you don't give yourself away. You will never be as happy as God intended for you to be. That's not how most of us define our happiness or how we search for happiness. You see, the point is you can't acquire or consume or look a certain way or exercise yourself into happiness, but many of us try all kinds of things I would call a lot of us composite people and explain what I mean by that. We sort of say if I had that job if if I had that education it if I had that house if I were the those close if I dated that person if I was married to him where I was married to her. If I had that look. Or if I was at that weight, then I'd be happy, usually by the way, when I talk about composite people. We don't want to trade places with anyone. We don't want to be another person. So we pick and choose you see there certain things about some people I like to have that I like to have that I like to live there, and I like it sort of that idea therefore composite people see the research backs me up University Chicago did a long-term research on the most fulfilling careers and they found out that as they kept questioning people over the course of years that people who cared for others people who taught others and people who protected others were by a mile. The most content and happy people surveyed United Kingdom did a huge study of 40 different studies brought together that were over a 20 year period and they wanted to draw some conclusions about this evasive thing we call happiness, and they concluded after putting these 240 studies together over 20 years that they said the parent key to happiness is found in just one word. Service amazing.
They found that these people had less depression and less stress in their lives. They even said this. If you would take a teenager with a bad attitude and force them to serve, it would still benefit them and the ones who were forced to serve with a bad attitude, use less drugs and had less unplanned legacies service. They concluded the people who serve people have psychological well-being. A higher self-esteem, a much higher quality of life and this one always important to us. They had greater longevity. Are you sure it seems counterintuitive that what we think makes us happy.
How can emptying myself make me full doesn't seem right now you know what it never seemed right.
It didn't seem right. 2000 years ago. Open your Bibles to Mark chapter 9 and verse 30. Now in verse 30 of Mark nine is a very important turn of events and something Jesus has been preparing them for a long period of time as disciples for in verse 30 says.
From there they went out and began to go through Galilee.
He did not want anyone to know about it. It's getting near the turning point. Now he's heading to Jerusalem he says for he was teaching his disciples, and he's telling them the Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men and they will kill him and when he is been killed.
He will rise three days later love all the different things that Jesus teaching them.
There may be nothing he ever talk the more important that something they really need to come to grips with the next verse, but they did not understand the statement. Now it's kind of interesting when you think about on the surface, how could you not understand statement he just said to come and get me the gonna kill me on the horizon. Three days don't get to understand what it says but they were free to ask him now. I think probably the reason they were afraid to ask him as I don't think is the first time ever that and you can imagine the conversations with each other and did you understand what that meant nonprofit. You hey John, you know what that meant to me was go to the beloved. What was going on the statement I don't know you know the situation you decide to keep your mouth shut because you don't want to appear foolish rather than to open your mother make it obvious to everyone just how foolish you are, now that's what's going on. But here's something else they had something else in mind. They were little bit distracted by that state. This great statement.
They said only one thing about that CI would much rather think about me. I know we should be think a lot about you, but I like thinking more about me next verse they came to Capernaum and when he was in the house he began to question them.
I love this love are you discussing on the way like the answer should be what what it means. We thought you were the Messiah would like you to send a set up a kingdom and all of a sudden you say they're going to come and get you and kill you. Then someone you going to come up back from the dead three days that I think about that all and Jesus knows that he said what was it you were discussing says but they kept silent.
They kept silent, for on the way they discussed with one another.
Which of them was the greatest, why, how you see because the pursuing happiness. You see, what makes me happy is I'm the greatest. Unlike the greatest hey could you imagine this Peter is probably the first one I thought, this will clear.
I'm in charge of the greatest not so sure about that. You see a lot of really stupid things you know.
By the way, I think they were to take the committee vote. At that time who was the greatest public Jews. That is a Judas's memo Jesus and what was going to try and they had no idea it was Judas. After all, Judas was the treasure he kept the money. Jesus trusted him with the funds so he might be the greatest in sitting down.
Let's sit down. I want to talk about this.
He called the 12 and he said to them, if anyone wants to be first.
While it sounds like an American slogan of were number one where number one I'm number one because that's what makes us happy. If anyone wants to be first, Jesus assumes that's okay say it's awful to be first. He said if you want to be first, I want to tell you how I'm if that's what you want you want to be first you want to be happy, to me tell you how here we go.
If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all in the servant of all. There is tell you how to do it. Consider yourself last and serve everybody and you will be the greatest influence and you will be happy to see you finally get that elusive thing you're looking for, because that's what service does. Happiness is giving yourself away. No one knows that more than Jesus by weather so consistent through Scripture. The apostle Paul talking to the Philippians.
This epistle of tremendous joy that is writing and is in prison at the time but he says to them, get what you need to do if you want to be as joyful of me.
Consider everybody else is more important than you are.
You see how counterintuitive this is to us. No no no no no, that can't be the way it is because I want to be happy and it's all about me you seek to be happy with all of you get this idea that I am the center of the solar system.
You all revolve and rotate around me. When you all do your thing, I'll be happy. How can this be right because that's the way you were designed. God designed us to be very happy giving ourselves away sin changed all that sin made a selfish sin separated us not only from God, but it separated us from each other. Therefore, God said in a complacent plan of redemption and he redeemed us and now that we are redeemed goes right back to square one and says look Jesus is look I've come to give you life and give it to you abundantly. I want you to have your your joy he said with complete fulfilled your joy may fool and I'm telling you this is how you do it emptying yourself. Give yourself away and you'll be one of those happy people.
Paul reinforces this go with me to Galatians chapter 5 verse 13 the apostle Paul says, for you were called to freedom. Grace has set you free. You are free.
You have been declared righteous by God, you are heaven bound. While neither sin nor the lock has any effect on you.
Now you are free but the warning he says, for you were called to freedom, brethren only. Do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh. Notice that you see we can be so free in Christ that we say wait a minute. Just what Paul said in Romans wherever sin abounds.
Grace abounds all the more and but an idea.
You see, the more I sin the more grace abound. I'm free.
He says yes you could do that we would never be happy. He says let me tell you how you can be happy. Do not turn your freedom and opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. See through love serve one another. By the way, that's one of the great things about love. Love isn't love unless you give it away if you gotta love this sift through love serve one another. The same exact idea.
What I mean serve one another come alongside help others out spiritually, emotionally, physically fit your actions make someone else's life better that serving one another. Pulses look that's that's what you need to do. He said for the whole law is fulfilled in one word, one statement you shall love your neighbor as yourself. You see, the whole idea but as he said you know how your flesh wants to say I want the whole world to revolve around me and I want to make everybody contribute to me being happy. He said that's the way you love you, love, and them that way.
And guess what happens if you love them that way. Guess what, you get happiness. The thing you're looking for unforeseen notes. The thing your flesh does not want. He said if you bite and devour one another.
Take care. He said you that you are not consumed by one another is so important, Paul. Over 50 times in the epistles alone one another all these one another's 25 to 30. I'm distinctly different.
Love one another and care for one another and confess your sins to one another, serve one another is an amazing thing is, over and over again why because this is how were designed when we give ourselves a way to one another.
One of the byproducts, not just the glory of God and the benefit of the person. What do I become happy is a tremendous effect on us.
He then goes on and says look there's two approaches the life and as a Christian by the way, you can have a choice.
He says but I say walk in the spirit will not carry out the desire of the flesh is warning them they can carry out this desire is for this flesh sets its desire against the spirit to spirit against the flesh. These are in opposition to one another so that you may not do the things that you please. You gotta be careful here. He said if you are led by the Spirit and not on the law. There's no law. He says now the deeds of the flesh are evident in her immorality and impurity and sensuality and idolatry and sorcery and enmities in strife and jealousy, and outburst of anger's and disputes and dissensions in factions envying and drunkenness and carousing, and things like these. He was on us as I want wanted something people who live that practice that that's what you were before you came to Christ, you can get into the kingdom of God with that kind of thing so please don't go back to it.
What makes you happy in your flesh, by the way his pleasure at someone else's expense. Somebody always pays for your happiness, how you measure the value of a life how you measure the value of your life isn't always the same are probably all aware of this is what you did for others and you know this. I know that you've attended in a number funerals, and if you're in ministry attend quite a few, and in it interesting that when a new eulogy. Just imagine if we just told the truth. I want to tell you. By the way, but my uncle Joe. Uncle Joe was an immoral man. Everything about his life is in route is impure.
He was an indulgent man. He was hateful and he was a jealous jealous man. He was vulgar. He was a drunk. He was selfish that's only eulogy, but it does sound like uncle Joe doesn't see, we never want know know we want to say that why because we know instinctively the value of a life can never be all of the self-absorption, it can never be the flesh we know that has no value. So we all save the best things we can possibly say about uncle Joe and by the way, if he has no goodness.
He never really served anybody never emptied himself never help people that we say things like he loved fishing and boy he love the LSU Tigers that your life that's your contribution to life. You see, we know instinctively that the value to life is what you give away. We know that a life all wrapped up in itself has almost no value but all happiness is giving yourself away and you become full when you become empty for this is important to Jesus one last passage, John chapter 13 the King of Kings and Lord of lords, the creator of all things amazing when you think about who is but I want to think about when Mrs. this is the night before the crucifixion that even Jesus had some things on his mind that night while but when he went to Garnica 70 just lately a few hours later than this one happened. Beverly said father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. It said that he was sweating droplets of blood. That's the kind of stress that he knew what was happening. The next day the most incredible unimaginable amount of suffering any human being would ever take on and he's going to take it on the next day and he knows it.
So when they get together for three Jesus, knowing that the father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come forth from God was going back to God. There's the context he got up from supper and he lay aside his garments, and taking a towel, he girded himself and then he poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples feet in the white them with a tile which he girded and so when he came to Simon Peter.
He said him Lord, do you wash my feet. See what Peter's thinking hierarchy is hierarchy. You're the boss you're the king you're in charge. You don't wash my feet.
That's for the lowly. Jesus said to him what I do, you do not realize now that you understand hereafter. Peter said him never show you wash my feet once again foot-and-mouth disease. Peter thinking he saying the right thing.
Jesus said if I do not wash you, you have no part with me while Simon Peter said more than a wash. Knowing my CPU wash my hands, my head everything one Jesus said to him, he was Bailey's only have to wash his feet. You're completely clean but not all of you, Peter.
This is about that is about something else. He knew that one was betraying him, and for this reason, he said not all your clean and so many wash their feet and taken his garments and reclined at the table. He said to them, do you know what I've done. That's an amazing statement. All the things on his mind always going to happen in the next few hours and the next day.
Just you understand you call me teacher and Lord, you're right.
So I am. If I then, the Lord and the teacher washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you should do as I did to you. You can't serve to serve one another and no job is too low you have to you have to empty yourself. You have to be last if you want to be first but more importantly in the context of this message. If you want to be happy is you gotta do this. This is the key.
This is everything you know, it's amazing to me that the church looks of something like that in the debate of the church is astounding. Over the years the debate of the churches is foot washing and ordinance are not, and some of the traditions of Protestantism like Grace brethren people like that they have foot washing in a say we have it and you guys are wrong because you don't have it now, I'm not at all today trying to talk about the limits of foot washing because I don't think that was his point. The point is service using just because you have the ordinance of foot washing have a whole bunch of people that don't serve anybody you're not doing anything with this passage.
This is about serving one another, exhibits consistent look. I did this to you, and I did under the most unbelievable circumstances. Just imagine if you were given a unfair, but that you, in a sense were going to face execution tomorrow or someone you love is having the most difficult surgery they could ever imagine even have a baby. The next day. Would you take time to be the lowest servant in the room. Would you be preoccupied see Jesus saying that's how important this is. That's why I did it at this time.
You can only be as happy as God intended you to be by giving yourself away.
The value of your life is measured by what it gave away see that's what God did in the beers advantage we have the spirit of God resides in us.
You see when you came to Christ, the spirit of Christ, the spirit of God came into your life and you can see better with an illustration, the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth enormously high salt content.
The only thing that lives in the Dead Sea are microorganisms. It does not and cannot sustain life. Now if you go 87 miles north of the Dead Sea you go to the Sea of Galilee, the Sea of Galilee for the past 3000 years has been abundant in life, generation after generation a meager livelihood fishing the Sea of Galilee. Now it's not just a great fishing place but is recreational and all that another's interesting distinctions between the two, but I want to make one particular one water from the north flows into the Sea of Galilee and you have a seat at the other end of the Sea of Galilee for water flows out of the lake. The Jordan River. Now he comes in CA Galilee.
If flows up life in abundance everywhere. The Jordan River flows south and flows into the Dead Sea same river exhibits wanting different about the Dead Sea.
The water never flows out the water just stack and over the time the water produces no life which one of you see the spirit of God is flows into you the moment you become a Christian.
Whether a Dead Sea Christian received Galilee Christian spirit of God flows into you.
The real question is that the spirit of God flow out of you because if it does you have life happiness seat, you have exactly what you were designed for Jesus thought of the skull.
Many clear to the Galatians is something you seem Galilee church was happiness bathroom number the radio ministry fellowship Lord you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time remembering a great website called in one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio program, had Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make his broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help with radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly with just a one-time gift 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 that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FPC Nola.org that FPC and of LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds. Pastor Bill sermon. You can browse through our sermon archives to find sermon series you're looking for or you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for.
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