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August 8, 2022 6:00 am
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You have a whole lot of other trust God moment by moment throughout the day and what starts to grow within us the very things we desire. Love Joy peace patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. The fruit of the spirit in a way to do is walk daily with spirit and that's the gospel you can walk into this life of love, joy and peace, not by trying to change yourself, or change other people, but simply by following him day by day that's John Burke and he's with us today on Focus on the Family to help us learn to better reflect the heart and the message of Jesus to those around. Thanks for joining us this is Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller and your hostess focus president and author Jim Daly John, hope people realize the gospel is at the core of everything we try to do here.
I mean, are our basic theme is evangelism, marriage, parenting, advocacy for children engaging culture, all with the foundation of helping people understand their relationship to God and if they have a relationship or if they don't trying to encourage them to seek the Lord and that is our core mission.
First John four, seven nights encourages us in that way. John said in a course.
He's one of Jesus's disciples, but he said beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. That's pretty straightforward times. Love said in Scripture.
There mean, it's amazing. And sometimes I think we in the church we discounted you know and I when I would talk to people about our work here focus. I would say you have the greatest weapon that God is given us is that spiritual weapon in parenthesis of love, right when a human being feels a lot of that something happens. It's disarming and their heart cracks in their heart opens. I've seen it with people that I've engaged who are not Christians and who are hostile toward focus and it's really amazing to see the work of the Holy Spirit in that way.
Today we want to give you that little knowledge and equip you to draw people to the love of Christ through modeling his heart rather than the heart of should I say the Pharisees so it'll be good will be covering the Pharisees and pretty sure as we go along here Jim John Burke is here. He's the pastor and founder of Gateway church in Austin, Texas, and he's married to Kathy. They have an adult son and an adult daughter and is written a number books our conversation today is going to center on one of them called on shock of the love how Jesus changes the world through imperfect people and we got copies of that here at the ministry. Just check the episode notes for details or give us a call our number is 800 the letter a in the word family John, welcome back.
Thanks for having me back yet so good to see you to Gateway church has a unique model year known as the come as you are community church there in Austin which is awesome come as you are no perfect People allowed allowed a lot of that. Why do we sometimes once we make a commitment to Christ. How do we think of ourselves more highly than we should.
What does that happen.
Well, I think.
I think it's really easy to just lose sight of what Jesus had to do for all of us. The and you know we end up in communities that we talk to each other, sometimes maybe more than we talk to people around us who are in the world and so we we get kind of in us them attitude, it just happens that's so true, so on a flight to Scandinavia in the book to describe the story where you encountered a flight attendant and he had some very specific problems with the church. What happened yeah I was I was going to Sweden and be a long flight. I went back in the back to fill up my water bottle and I meet Michael. The attendant and he said that, well not really supposed to do that but give it to me anyway and he started to fill it up and start a chat. I just take an interest. You know where you from all that after a few minutes he asked me that.
So what you do. It's always a great matter pastor you don't want to talk, it just ends it right there and I said I'm a pastor and he goes all my gosh I would've never been 100 years thought that and then he starts to tell me about just how he had felt judged pushed away kind of rejected throughout his life by by Christians. I don't know why but he had become a Buddhist and sweethearts are tell me why he become a Buddhist, but the fascinating thing is he kept asking me questions and and I kept talking to him about how you know I was an agnostic, but I had learned that God actually loves all of us is crazy about all of us. In fact, is crazy about you and and people sometimes just don't don't really show what he's like very well.
He wouldn't let me go to sleep.
That irritating fly was I got in the morning.
I got God had a different point well, but that you know that's the thing is that people are hungry and they're curious but at the same time they haven't always gotten the heart of Jesus for them through us and that was what led me to write on shock of the love.
It actually came out of a study of the harmony of the Gospels. You know where where they basically were you look at not only everything Jesus said in Matthew Mark Luke and John, but the timing of it as well, and I studied what were the attitudes that Jesus had toward people what what were his actions and inadvertently as I was studying this I realized there's a big contrast between that and the attitudes and the actions of the Pharisees of the religions of that day and it started to hit me that sometimes I in my life have actually had more of attitude and actions the Pharisees than that of Jesus.
When I really looked at what Jesus how he acted what he said what seemed to be in his heart for people.
And so that is what really led me to write the book and of course it's full of stories of people coming to faith through Christians being the heart and and the actions of Jesus to others and I think that's really it.
Is it if you think about it when Jesus came into this world.
Everywhere he went he restored what was lost and broken to God. That's what he did.
That's the whole point. It was just like is a movement that followed him of people and more and more lost, broken people restored and they actually became the leaders of his church so you know what I asked in the book is are we seeing that God is using us to restore what's lost and broken in our neighborhoods in our workplaces. You know with our families yet.
Let me ask you jumping is one of things it's difficult to do that work because it requires time, sacrifice, commitment, and sometimes we feel we don't have a lot of those things because were working hard were take care of her kids or whatever but we should always be aware of how God wants to use this in our neighborhood and our jobs and have a good attitude about it well and I think it's actually simpler than we make it. I think the barrier is that we think it so difficult when in fact it's not that difficult.
You know after I wrote the book I partnered with the Barna group right and we actually put together a survey showing the attitudes and the actions of Jesus, compared the Pharisees and then surveyed Christian America.
Fascinating. This is intercell yeah so what came back is 51% of Christians in America have more of the attitudes and actions of the Pharisees than that of Jesus in the three of those adjectives just to help the listener.
What would that look like that the Pharisees and their actions devaluing people based on their sin. Yep, that's a big one, not not moving toward relationship with people but distancing ourselves maybe just getting busy, just not not seen and thinking about are praying for our neighbors not serving our neighbors or coworkers and we have an opportunity, not eating meals with them. Jesus ate meals with the centers right. That's what the religious complained about we meet when you look at that is one of the problems were we lack patience with people because you know were set we think we have every bit of our houses in order so we just don't have patience with people that quite are where were at. I mean, it may sound too simplistic, but I patience has to be a big reason to stay in a conversation with somebody who's antagonistic or doesn't believe the way you believe can be draining. Yes, absolutely. And I think the fear of that is what keeps us from the simple things that Jesus wants to lead us to do. You know, for me it really starts with changing my attitude to align it with that of Jesus. So I like to use an analogy when when my wife and I lived in St. Petersburg Russia we were we were missionaries in Russia in 91, 92, and my favorite painting in the world is Rembrandt's return of the prodigal son knows that it's a painting based on Luke 15 where it says that the Pharisees complained because Jesus was hanging out with all the centers right and he tells them three stories of course.
One is of the loss on the prodigal son in the painting is of the father representing God hugging the son know who was completely wayward, who comes back so so that painting in the hermit Taj.
That's where the original Rembrandt is it worth millions and millions of dollars today but let's say you're visiting the hermit Taj Museum in your walking out back in an alley and you see in a dumpster, a painting and its mud all over it stain it's torn but you realize I think this is Rembrandt's prodigal son masterpiece. So the question is would you treat it like trash. Would you treat it like mud because it is stained and torn it might or would you see beneath the mud to realize that there is a masterpiece under all that damage because it came from the hand of the master. It's an original and all of us would have the wisdom to take it to someone who could gently restore it to its original value, so if we can see that in a work of art. Why can't we see that in muddied humans, why can't we see the masterpiece on the mud and that actually is the gospel. If you think about it.
Ephesians 283 10 we have been saved by grace. It's a gift of God's not anything we did right and then goes on to say because we are God's masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do the good works he planned for us long ago.
You are his masterpiece.
We are his masterpiece wheat we are his work of art. A unique work of art and I think realizing part of what I think holds us back is that maybe some of us don't see ourselves as his masterpiece, we see ourselves as we we've done a good job to stop sending or be good, but that's actually not the gospel. And so we also think that that's what we have to somehow get others to do and we are responsible to make them change that's not the gospel we read in the distinction there is the difference between the heart and behavior. Normally, good behavior comes from a good heart and that's a good thing. But you it's gotta be centered around the heart exact his behavior because people can do good things and they're not that that good or that healthy in their in their heart exactly yeah let me let me ask you this kind of puts the pressure on your analogy there but pastoring a church gateway there in Austin getting. I think a lesbian couple that started coming to the church. Describe what was going on there. What was the outcome yet because it's a great example and this is really the question asked when you encounter people and you start to listen to their story, what you focus on. You focus on the masterpiece that God says was worth, his son dying for everyone. Or you focus on the mud, so a friend invited Amy to come to gateway insets come as you are church and she said oh I bet not.
If your day and so she decided to come just to test us right and so she she brought her her friend and they would come and the first thing they would say that everybody is you know when they they said hi were gay and there were just waiting to to get a reaction and they would sit on the front row and they would test me in touch each other's needs and stuff like and and they kept trying to do this and when they started to sense from people that they cared less about their gayness than they did about their person who they were. The other girl stop coming. They were just trying to get out of us any state and and she kept learning about this God and she said who who I kept hearing he sees me as his masterpiece he sees me as his work of art is unique work of art and more and more. She started moving toward Jesus as she came to faith that the amazing thing was what I watch God do over the next two years because he started to show her things and and take her on this healing journey as she just trusted him more, but into this day decade later she loves and follows Jesus and she's a leader right in our church X transformation. I have seen that happen in thousands of lives and it it it it starts though when one person has the attitude of Jesus toward that person. Many times you were called to live unconditionally and express God's love and today on Focus on the Family were hearing a little bit about that from Pastor John Burke and of the content of his book on shock bull love how Jesus changes the world through imperfect people and were making that available to you.
Just check the episode notes for details or give us a call 800 K in the word family. John one of the advantages that's really great.
Being a pastor and having that kind of church that is you do see a lot of people come and you do see people testing. You obviously there is I think another story of a woman named Tracy who fits this from a different perspective that would happen with Tracy yet because I think again what we have to come to is what is in our heart when we see another person you know is it that we focus on whatever externally are the mother would do. We see the masterpiece and we call that out and and Tracy started coming to our church because her daughter was on our staff and no so Tracy is sitting in church and there is a girl with blue hair. You know, short, Butch cut yet dressed, you know the tough blue jean jacket and all this and she sees this woman and immediately is put off and she ribs her husband and says I bet she's gay. This is distracting. I don't want to sit here, let's move and her husband one so interested in moving) and and so she said she later told me this, because God really used in her life but she said she sat there just thinking about all the horrible perverted things. She and her friends probably were doing were sitting there and is just distracting her from even been a listen to the message of worship and then at the end of the service.
Everybody stood up and something caught her attention and shocked her and it was that this girl was wearing a skirt very feminine skirt, which didn't seem to go for the rest of her and and and so Tracy actually followed her and watched as she hugged people and people would come up to her and hug her and then her daughter comes up and hugs her and they talked for a while and it's so bothered Tracy that later that afternoon she said to poly her daughter.
She said what were you doing and who was at and then Holly told her the story and in Tracy's case she had grown up in a drug addicted family. The parents were drug addicts. The father had left but what what Tracy didn't realize is that over the last year someone had loved her had seen the masterpiece that Jesus said was worth dying for, called it out in her. She felt loved enough to start exploring faith. She started coming our church. He got into a small group she had a mentor couple an older couple that was being like parents to her touring and her the the positive things that every child needs from a parent and so she was actually the skirt was because she was feeling safe enough now with her femininity to try to explore it again while as Jesus letter with all of that back with all of that and she'd gotten clean of of alcohol and and drugs and just amazing. It isn't John. That's the power of the gospel is the power Jesus is and is he a look at that and I guess that going back to which you promised we would this issue of let me say it this way, holding the world accountable for things that we don't hold the church accountable to often enough right so we in the Christian church were pretty generous with forgiveness within the church and then we expect the world to behave like the church and they don't even subscribe to what we believe. So this is kind of contradiction for us in this idea of leading with the grace of God, the love of God. Romans, which is what you're quoting. The don't you know it's God's kindness that leads one to repentance. I've often use that you know is not God's heavy hammer no it's the love of God's kindness that leads one to repentance. It's right there in Scripture Romans 24. Read it for yourself but oftentimes we lean on the other side of this judge mental area were, you know, I know people who said I felt like I had to get myself cleaned up before I could present myself to God because that's what their Christian friends implied they may not have set it right but it was implied like you gotta get your stuff together so that God can then love you if that is not the message know, but that's what is in everybody's heart and that's what we have to understand, that's why we have to overcome that fear of condemnation and judgment with grace, with valuing people so Romans 81. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who can be in Christ Jesus anybody. It's a simple yes I do right and so God is not Jesus said I came to the world not to judge or condemn the world, but that the world through me might be saved right and so here's the problem. Paul said it in Romans chapter 7, you know, the very thing I want to do.
I don't do I do the very thing I hate. What a rat.
I'm so glad you wrote that. But I know that's right before yet there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, so all people know I sometimes say it this way to the people. Have you ever broken your own moral code. You ever said I'll never but you did shirt so think about it, how much more have we broken God's moral code right so we all know deep down were guilty and but the problem is we don't know the heart of God in our guilt so we think that I've got a gotta clean it up. I gotta work it out. I've got it remove my I gotta earn it.
Here's the problem with that.
That was never how God intended us to do life we were created to do life with the source of life and so we can't change or fix people.
I love this passage in first Corinthians 3 versus Paul you know I planted a pulse watered. But God caused the growth so neither one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow, but we are his coworkers. So we are his coworkers, but we don't change people right where we are working the soil were creating the, the, the environment, restoring worth and value to that person were seen the masterpiece in them that Jesus saw: it out because it's only when they start to walk with him and trust him that they actually change from the inside out. That's any of us exactly right. If we just changed ourselves were Pharisees right the right at the end here that the difficulty we often have is the anxiety or the fear of engaging in actually sharing the message that Jesus gave us you identify three themes for us to remember in that context. So what were the three things that you think about when you're talking to nonbelievers. Yeah, I think you know when I was I was trained this way. So many Christians have been trained this way that we gotta. They won't desire the good news until they know the bad news and so that the idea is in and in less I really convince them that they are sinners and separated from God they're not going home want to know God. The only problem with that is, it's not in the gospel that way. So I studied the timing so Jesus did speak hard words he spoke truth and hard words. I have a whole chapter in thereon in a chockablock on the hammer of truth that hammer. But here's the thing.
So what exactly 30 times. Jesus said some hard things. Here's the key. When did he do that.
So, actually, during the first 2 1/2 years of his ministry. He only record he was only recorded saying eight hard words people, six were to the Pharisees so the first two years.
He's going about.
He's healing he's serving, he's teaching God is good. He's like a father you give good gifts to your children, how much more God give good things to you.
God is for you, not against you. That was the message he brought so, and that is the first thing there's good news for you with got God is for you. God is not against you. God is not out there to condemn you. The second thing is that there's good news about Jesus that we all have fallen short of the glory of God week. We've all gone our own way. We've all send but what does God say about that. Well, he sent Jesus his son is life, death and resurrection paid the price that all of us can be forgiven and set right. He removed every barrier between every person and God. Except one upright. We can still say I don't need God.
I don't need your forgiveness and yet a willing heart is all all he needs and then the third message is there's good news for us.
You know that the good news is we don't have to do a whole lot other than trust God moment by moment throughout the day and what starts to grow within us are the very things we desire, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. The fruit of the spirit. This, in a way to do is walk daily with the spirit and that's the gospel so good news about God is for you, not against you. Good news about Jesus. He doesn't condemn you because your sin he paid for it so you can know you're right with God, and three good news for you. You can walk into this life of love and joy and peace, not by trying to change yourself, or change other people, but simply by following him day by day John this is perfect. W have wrapped up the gospel so well right at the end here and I just hope people will get in touch with us for that person who's never made a commitment to Christ.
Here it is. You won't hear it any plainer than you just heard it tonight.
I want to get this book into your hands and for the Christian. That may not understand how to live from that perspective, of loving your neighbor, which again to the commandments of Jesus gave to us. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and then love your neighbor as yourself. And if you keep these two, you've done it, and so I would want to encourage you as a believer in Christ to deepen your relationship so you know how to act accordingly. Just as John is talking about with people that may not respond well to the gospel and that if you can make a gift of any amount monthly or one time will send it as our way of saying thank you for participating in ministry with us if you can afford that. That's okay were going to trust other people will take care of the cost of that so we don't want that to be the impediment to get a hold of us to get a copy of this book so that you could either start your journey with the Lord or defendant donate. As you can when you call us, and I request that book on shock will love how Jesus changes the world through imperfect people are numbers 800 K in the word family and the link is in the show notes. Johnny also mentioned that we have Karen Christian counselor. So if you would like to receive a phone call from one of the team. In that regard.
Bill most likely ask you to leave your number they'll call you back and talk with you in a deeper way about the things that are happening in your life. Take advantage of that.
They're here for 44 years of ministry, I think we've heard most things, so don't be embarrassed. They will help you hopefully think about the path ahead God's will. And again.
Her number is 800 K word family and next time here on the broadcast Chad and Kathy Robichaux share the story of reclaiming their life as a military always say the loneliest place at minimum, life is not in Afghanistan but no Megan Weisbach turned to me and just in his dead marriage to Karen was so cold towards her half of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks again for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once more help you and Your Family Dr. in Christ, I'm here asking people how they could both begin and I don't know maybe love you give and get love you that it's also possible that the charitable gift annuity you get a secure source and fixed income and charitable tax deduction giving a charitable gift annuity to Focus on the Family helps families thrive for generations to come.
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