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Maturity In Christ - Hebrews 5:11-14 - Jesus Is Better

Made for More / Mercy Hil Church
The Truth Network Radio
March 18, 2023 8:00 am

Maturity In Christ - Hebrews 5:11-14 - Jesus Is Better

Made for More / Mercy Hil Church

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March 18, 2023 8:00 am

There is a big difference between childlike faith and childish faith. Are we still ‘Baby Christians’ drinking the milk of the Word, or have we progressed in our Christian walk?

Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Kerwin Baptist
Kerwin Baptist Church

Well, hey guys, across all of our locations, can we just praise God for all these families that are raising their kids and the church that sees the next generation coming up? Guys, I don't know, there's a lot of things that we do at Mercy Hill, but I don't know if any of them could be more exciting than seeing parents step forward and say, man, we want to raise these kids in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And I want to point out one thing to our church family across all of our locations today.

Guys, there are 27,000 kids under the age of five years old in Guilford County. There's 18,000 under the age of five in Forsyth County and the reason I bring that up is because if there's that many young children in our midst and in our community, aren't the fields white unto harvest in young families where God is wanting to do something in those families? And many times it is kids coming into a family and growing a little bit that brings mom and dad to this place of understanding we need a spiritual base and a spiritual formation. That is actually what happened in my family. When I was a little kid, when my sister and I came along, it really made my parents kind of question, hey, are we going to raise them with a spiritual formation? And if we are with a spiritual base and if we are, doesn't that mean that we probably need to be in a church?

And it kind of stuck them in and it glued them in to a church. And so guys, the only reason I'm bringing this up right now is we are about one month, less than one month away from the greatest invite event that we will have all the way until Christmas, okay? My family is personally, you're not going to out invite our family, okay? We're going to invite 100 people to Easter services this time around and I would challenge you to be thinking about something like that as well. And many of them are, and especially in our life stage, many of them are people with young kids, young families.

Man, it's a field that is white unto harvest and so let us be thinking about them and considering them. Let's already be thinking about, man, who is God going to put on my heart to give an invitation to as we move forward with all these services and all that stuff coming up on Easter. All right, if you have a copy of Scripture, turn with me to Hebrews chapter 5 and we're going to be continuing our study here in Hebrews and today we're going to be talking about a very practical topic of spiritual maturity.

You guys know this, but I want to go ahead and point out the obvious here. There is an expectation in the Christian life that we would mature throughout the days of our life spiritually in the same way that it is natural to expect that someone will mature physically, that you would move from child into adulthood. We expect that physically. Well, we're going to say, hey, what we need to do is expect that spiritually and the Scripture is talking about that to us today from Hebrews chapter 5. We're taking a break right in the middle of this great teaching, a great exposition around Jesus as the great high priest, and this break that we have right in the middle for just three verses is this big charge for us to be ones who are not satisfied with staying on milk forever, but being ones who move from milk to meat, that we would move from milk into maturity. There should be this expectation of marked moments in our life of growing up.

I think I shared this with you guys last summer. It was the first time that my boys had ever flown before, and I was with them, especially the first time Benaiah had ever flown, and he was very excited by the whole thing, okay? We get on the plane, and he's just got all his stuff, and he's so locked in, window seat.

The plane takes off, starts to bank a little bit. He looks at me, grabs the seat rest, and says, Dad, don't look now, but they're doing a barrel roll, okay? He knew he was so pumped that he was excited. What was not exciting was getting stopped in security because he had a knife in his backpack. They come up to me, and they're like, Sir, he's got a knife in his backpack. I'm like, is that all?

Okay, I'm glad it wasn't worse, all right? But I think about that. He's eight years old now, and he was seven then, but at five or six years old, both of my boys, at five or six years old, it's like, hey, I want you to be able to handle this, and I put a pocket knife in their hands, right?

It's theirs. I think about my dad doing that. I remember that at five years old.

It's a marked moment. I'm just bringing that up to say there are these moments in our life where Dad comes in, and what's Dad doing? Dad's saying, hey, it's time to move in maturity. It's time to grow just a little bit here.

We've got to stretch a little bit here. It's like the kid that's eight years old that tells his dad, Dad, I have a tummy ache, and the dad says, you don't have a tummy. You don't have a tummy anymore. Today's the day where you now have a stomach. It's a marked moment. It's a moment of saying, hey, we've got to stretch a little bit here and move into maturity, and that is what the Bible is calling us to do spiritually and to be ones who are sharpening each other, to be ones who are leaning into the God-ordained ways that we grow, the Word-taught and life-caught, and that's what I want to talk to you about today. Spiritual maturity, big idea, comes from the Word being taught and life being caught. It's time to grow. It's time to progress. It's time to mature, and every single one of us has ways that we can grow, progress, and mature.

Me, chief among us, okay? Every one of us can be challenged by this Word today to say, wait a minute, are you slowing or are you growing? Are you taking steps back or are you moving forward? Every one of us can be challenged by this passage today. And here's the biggest challenge, okay? This is the biggest part that's challenging to me today. You do understand that the greatest factor in whether you will grow or slow, move forward or shrink back, the greatest factor for spiritual growth in your heart is your heart's posture towards spiritual growth. God has to do the work, I fully understand, but He has shown us in His Word, I do it in these ways. I do it through the Word, and I do it through practicing what you learn in the Word in community. And if we're not doing those two things, then I think we could probably say we're not that serious about trying to move forward.

The biggest factor is not out there somewhere. Circumstances in our life, things that are going on in culture, the biggest factor of where we're going to be in a few years spiritually is what we decide, we believe about the Word taught and life caught. So let's dive in. Verse 11, about this we have much to say. Now, he's talking about Jesus is the great high priest, and I mentioned that, and we talked about that last week, and so I'm kind of just piggybacking off of that. If you're brand new this weekend, you may need that sermon last week for a little context here, okay? About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain since you have become dull of hearing. Uh-oh.

Okay. Sometimes they're preaching, sometimes they're meddling, okay? That's what people would say about preachers. They're getting a little too close. And that's right here.

Man, they're dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by what?

By constant practice to distinguish good from evil. The author here in Hebrews is pausing the discussion of the priesthood of Jesus Christ for a moment of exhortation at best, chastisement at worst. He has taken a moment in love for this congregation to say, hey, you need to take count of where you are.

And in order to do that, we've got to ask the question, are we growing or are we slowing? And he starts in verse 11 by saying this. He says, hey, all this stuff about Jesus being the great high priest, the stuff I was preaching about last week, it's hard to explain. Listen, not because it's complicated. Something can be hard to explain for two reasons, not one.

It can be hard to explain because it's complex. Or it can be hard to explain because the person you're trying to talk to isn't hearing you. Their ears are dull to hear.

Now that's what he's getting into here. Dull of hearing, I want to make sure we understand this, it is not an intellectual critique, it's a moral one. It's not an intellectual problem, it's a moral problem. The concept of dull of hearing means you are slow to hear. You are sluggish in your hearing. What he's getting at here is that these people evidently had a lack of excitement, a lack of enthusiasm about hearing the word of God and having it change and move their affections and move their heart. They were dull and slow to hear what the scripture was calling them to hear and the word of God itself. The word picture here is like this. Their hearts were like an overcast cloudy day, not a bright sunshine day. And what we want when we come to the word of God is a bright and sunny day. That's the idea here of being dull.

It's a moral issue. He's talking about hearing, but you got to understand, it's not an audiology thing, it's a cardiology thing. It's a heart posture towards what I'm going to hear. And what he's saying basically is, if you say someone is dull of hearing, what you're saying is you are lacking in the effort and the enthusiasm and the excitement to hear the word and have it change your life. You know, Dean Smith wrote, there's a book called Carolina Way that came out, you know, legendary coach here in North Carolina. I will never forget this.

In his book, here's what he said. He said the one thing we will never coach at Carolina is effort. You come to Carolina, effort is a given. That's the one thing we, enthusiasm, bright sunny day. Man, excitement about change and growth. Let me ask you guys, and not all of our campuses, what is our posture towards our own spiritual growth and formation right now? Where do we want to be in a year, in three years, in five years?

What do we want our family to look like? How do we want God to have so shaped our heart that is dripping out all over our life? What are the own plans and visions that you have? Man, what are the dreams you have for the spiritual walk that you want or are we dull to hear? Are we slow and sluggish to hear the word and what it can do for, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God.

You need milk, not solid food. Because, you know, what's the opposite of being dull? Diligent. Because you're not diligent, you're dull to hear and this is what's going on. You are now set back because of the posture that you have. Many of us want to point outside. Man, I'm where I am because of things that are going on in the community. I'm where I am because of things that are happening in society. What the Bible is getting at here is there is a personal responsibility for the vision we have for our own growth that we should inform by scripture, inform practice in community. Where do we want to be? And we don't rest and say, well, it's a bunch of stuff out there that's holding me back from that. It's a heart posture of effort and enthusiasm that says, no, God can. He will. I'm going to put myself in a position to be changed.

I'm going to put myself in a position that I would grow. Y'all, we live in a culture that wants to say the problem is always out there. And the Bible most of the time is saying, man, the problem is kind of like right here.

It's not out there. It's not somebody else's fault. It's us. This is where we are as a culture.

It's like I'm not growing spiritually. It's the church's fault. It's the community group's fault. It's the college pastor's fault.

It's everybody's fault. How slow are we in our hearing? Are we dull to hear? Are we diligent to hear?

Are we quick, fast, enthusiasm, bright sunny day? Are you begging God for a moment of saying, you don't have a tummy anymore? Are you begging God for that moment?

I can handle the pocket knife. I want to grow, man. I want there to be more things that are given to me in my leadership.

I want to be in a different place than I am in five years. Or in passivity, are we pointing to the things around us that say, oh, whatever. I mean, look at what's happened. Look at my life. If this wouldn't have happened, if that wouldn't have happened. I think one of the things that this passage, especially when you understand the context, really pushes us to see is that you and I are products of our decisions, not our circumstances. Our circumstances, be what they are. They are not something that pushes us to anything else. Like, we have an opportunity to take whatever that circumstance is and make decisions about it.

Now, here's why I say that from the book of Hebrews, okay? Because this is what we, this is where we're at. We're at a culture that wants to say it's out there. It's a problem. You understand that this book is written to a people who are under immense pressure and persecution. See, this is my point.

What we would want to do many times and what I would be tempted to do many times is say, well, man, give them a break. I mean, they're under all this persecution. You know, like, okay, they've been a little stagnant. You know, they haven't grown. But come on, man, they're under all this pressure from the outside and all that. And what we constantly learn from the scripture is that while we want to say the outside forces are the excuse for which I didn't grow, maybe God allowed those outside forces in your life so that you would grow. Maybe it was the trial that actually was the opportunity for them to flex and build spiritual muscle. Again, it's not audiology, it's cardiology.

It's a slowness to hear, but it's becoming, it's coming from a heart posture that is lacking in enthusiasm when it comes to the word of God and the practice of that word in community. Guys, I thought about this. You know, COVID hit, schools shut down, a lot of kids really got left behind in a lot of ways. Okay. I think that's just kind of been proven now.

I don't think that's even much of a political point. It's like, man, it just kind of is. And I had a child that was one of them. I've got a COVID kindergartener and that's kind of a thing now. You know, it was like, man, they went through kindergarten there and man, it was tough. I remember, I never thought I'd be standing pleading with the Rockingham County School Board, you know, to do this or do that. I was there. I was one of those parents and it was a good speech.

It didn't change anything. Okay. But it was a good speech. You know, and just try and with the, you know, with kids and all this kind of stuff, right?

Now here's the point that I want to make. Man, is that a hard deal for every single kid that had to go through that? It absolutely is.

Is their parent's attitude toward that circumstance going to be the difference whether that kid lives with a label their whole life or not? Absolutely. Right?

I mean, we understand this. It's like, man, if a parent is kind of like, hey, you know, 10 years later, there's going to be kids where a parent is saying, they left you behind. Can you believe what they did? You've had bad grades your whole life, bad decisions your whole life because you didn't get to be there with the other kids and you got behind by three grade levels and now that's where you're at? And that label is just going to be hung around their neck. It's the circumstance that's going to be defining who they are. Of course, there will be other parents that look at their kids 10 years from now and say, man, you learned how to go through something hard at a young age. And it meant that we had to double down for three years, but we came out of that and you can face something else in your life too because you've gone through stuff that's hard and it made you stronger. It is a completely different way of thinking about it. What is it all coming down to?

It's coming down to our attitude in our heart towards our own growth. Why else would someone be slow to hear? Now, this is what I got to say about this passage, okay? I've already read it a couple different ways and I've talked about it. The passage doesn't say why they were slow to hear.

I've thought about this, I could give you 10 reasons maybe, okay? It doesn't say why they were slow to hear. I don't know why they were slow to hear, but I know what the answer is. The answer is, man, that we would determine in our heart it's worth it, listen to the word, practice in community and be changed and be moved. And that is what he is trying to do in this passage. He is trying to rattle the cage a little bit, shift the sand under some people's feet. Here's what he says, all right?

This is the answer. For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness since he is a child, but solid food is for the mature. For those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. What he's saying is, man, it's time to grow. It's time to be stretched.

This is a maturing moment. I think there could be people who look at this passage and maybe they think to themselves, well, I haven't learned some of the basic principles. I haven't learned some of the theology. I haven't applied myself to the word of God. I haven't taken real seriously the preaching of the word and the way it trains me to read the word on my own. And I haven't done that. And this is what many of us might think. Well, I'm just keeping a childlike faith, like Jesus said, okay?

You know? I just want to be simple, trusting and all that. Guys, there is a big difference between a childlike faith and a childish faith.

Big difference. A childlike faith is a trust in the Father. A childish faith is a laziness when it comes to our part in maturity.

Your salvation is monergistic, meaning God saved you. Your sanctification is synergistic, means there is a part of effort that matters. That's what we extrapolate from Scripture, even from places that are just like this. That we apply ourselves and we do it in the way that God calls us to do it. And then the Spirit of God moves upon that and we grow in the faith. And we're not 10, 15, 20 years down the road in our spiritual journey being told you can only handle milk, when we should be in a place to handle the meat of the Word. Now, I want to talk about the maturing of our lives through the Word and community, and I'll sum them both up, all right?

The first one is this. We go from milk to maturity by learning God's Word. I mean, this is what he's getting at in verse 13. For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness. The flip side of that is, when we become skilled in the Word, then all of a sudden we're not ones who can only handle the milk.

That's what he's getting at here. You know, in verse 12 what he said is this kind of idea of like, hey, you guys should be in a different place, but you're not. You ought to be teachers, but instead you need someone to teach you even the basic principles. Now, this is later in the series, but in chapter 6 he begins to talk about what some of those basic principles are. Man, the grace of God, what the law is. I mean, basic things that we should know as believers if we listen to sermons 50 times a year, if we read our Bible five or seven days a week, out for seven. But if we do those things, we will know the basic principles and be skilled in them and come out of milk into maturity. You know, how many of us are doing that?

This is just, that's sharp, man. How many of us are there? You know, one recent survey talked about the evangelical church. It said most Christians that identify as evangelical could not name five commandments, could not name the four gospels. And when asked if this was a Bible verse, God helps those who help themselves, 80% said yes. That ain't the Bible.

That's Benjamin Franklin. Smart guy, not Jesus, okay? I mean, it's just, and man, you know, this is just kind of where we are. Now, if you're here today and you feel some shame around those things, I want to be very clear about this. We have a lot of young Christians around a church like Mercy Hill, praise God.

That means that we're growing, that means that you're learning. Like some of you didn't have the benefit of being raised in a Christian home and all this Bible and all this kind of stuff like somebody like I did. And maybe you're an adult and you're one of those that, man, your kids have come along and you're trying to give them a spiritual formation.

And you're like, man, I don't know if I could name the five commandments. When we are young in the faith, that will come out and things like that. But if five years from now you are still in that same place, that's who this is talking to.

It's exactly who this is talking to. Are we going to move in maturity by taking in the word through the preaching and through our own personal Bible reading? Are we going to do that? Are we going to taste and see that the Lord is good? Psalm 34a, how do we do that, man? We do it by encountering Him in His word. You read a history book, you don't get to know Abraham Lincoln. You read the Bible, you get to know God. You get to know Him.

That's how we know Him. We listen to the word preached, we get a chance to read His word. Man, how serious are you about not missing church for flippant reasons? What about your Bible reading? I've told you this, three chapters a day puts you through the whole Bible in a year. Man, we can do that. Read something from the New Testament, read something from the Old Testament, read something from the Psalms or the book of Proverbs or wisdom literature in general.

Like, you can do that. I know some of us might think to ourselves, and I've heard this from our young people at different times, well, I don't really know how, you know, I don't really know how to read the Bible. No one's ever taught me how to read the Bible. You know, never been personally discipled by anybody in that way. What they really mean is mentored in that way.

That'd be great if you were, but you don't need to be. People that are discipled in churches like Mercy Heal end up being discipled by dozens of people over dozens of years. If you're sitting back because nobody's ever taught you how to read the Bible, I'm gonna tell you something right now.

You are pointing to things out there to justify your spiritual stagnation. You hear the word preached every week. Man, when you are hearing the word preached, you are learning how to read the Bible. You open it. What does this mean?

What is it like? What does it mean for my day today? You do that and you know how to read, you're knowing how to read the Bible, okay?

This is how we read the Bible. And it will change your life if you will get into it. But the problem is not out there. What this is getting at is how are we hearing? It's not audiology. It's a cardiology problem.

Man, it's a heart posture type of issue. So, first thing that we see in this in terms of maybe some application here, we go from milk to maturity by learning God's word. Second thing is we go from milk to maturity by the practice in community. By practicing what the word teaches in community.

Look what it says in verse 14. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Powers of discernment, that's a fancy kind of phrase. Here's what it means. It means the ability to understand and grasp. That's the power of discernment. To understand and grasp, and then finally all the way to apply what the word of God is teaching us.

And big surprise here, but what am I going to say? Hey, the way that you do that is not in isolation. There is no such thing as a lone ranger Christian in the scripture. The way you practice what you are learning is in community.

In community mature Christians are well-learned and they are well-practiced. It's both. It's just like you're training to do anything else. You know, we're in that season of life, y'all, where it's like, man, I go to work during the day and then at night there's two hours of some sport that we're doing with one of the kids. I mean, usually it's multiple kids, okay?

And I wouldn't trade it for anything. Man, I played a lot of ball. It's a fun season of life that we're in right now. But I think about this. When you watch kids playing, this is practice.

That's what you can call it. It's practice. What's happening at practice? There are coaches that are given instruction. There are other players that are watching.

There are coaches and other players that are correcting. Watch a bunch of kids that are even seven or eight years old. The leaders out there, even at seven years old, will pull a kid aside and say, not that, this, which is what discipleship is. That's all it is. Not that, but this. Watch this. Watch how we do this.

I mean, that's how you're teaching somebody. And what the Bible is calling us to here is word taught, skilled in righteousness, word of righteousness, and life taught, practicing that in community. Guys, that is the spiritual growth discipleship flywheel here at Mercy Hill.

One of the first two stops on the flywheel. We gather, hear the word, we group, lecture, lab. All right, let's apply this. I want to call you to this across all of our campuses this weekend. Guys, commit to maturing in your Christian faith. I know what you're going to say. Yeah, but only God can do that. That is absolutely true. But are you putting yourself in a position ordained by Him?

It's not me saying it. He has prescribed the path. Are you putting yourself in a position to be one who moves down the field and grows in your spiritual life? You know, one pastor that I listen to said it this way. He challenged his congregation. I want to challenge you guys in exactly the same way. I kind of already did this.

But here's what he said to his congregation. Exactly what do you want your life to look like in five years in four areas? Where do you want to be financially? Where do you want to be physically, body? Where do you want to be in your relationships? Where do you want to be spiritually?

Do you have dreams and visions for where you want to be in these areas of your life? I mean, think about physically. We're going to be older. Are we going to be healthier?

We can be stronger even then than we are now. Are your friendships going to be deep, iron sharpening iron friendships if you're married? Is that marriage going to be unified? Then are you going to grow in your relationship and your oneness with each other in all areas, in everything that that means? Are you going to be united more in your vision for what life is going to be, the dreams for what life is going to be in your parenting, in your sexual intimacy? Is there going to be more five years from now?

Is it going to be a more unified and deeper relationship? What about financially? Are you going to be closer to having all that debt paid off? Are you going to be closer to leaving a legacy through your finances to those that are around you? Are you going to be closer to that place in your life where you've moved way beyond the tithe and are dripping with generosity?

And what about our spiritual growth? What is the vision that you have for your life? Are you going to know God in a deeper way? Are you going to have more of his word inside of your heart? Are you going to be stepping into areas of leadership? Man, maybe you're even a little afraid to voice right now. What is it going to be in five years?

Are you ready? Do you believe God can bring you that type of a deep life? It's only going to happen if we understand today that that type of life doesn't come about because of your circumstances. It comes about because of your decisions. That we would put ourselves in a position to have God move in our life in many of these ways.

God does it, but he does it in his way through the word and through practice. In our culture, we live in this day and age, y'all. We want to point out there and say it's somebody else's issue. If the school fails, it's the teacher's. If I'm not healthy, it's the medical system. I mean, it's always somebody else, right?

This is where we live. But maybe the Bible is calling us to think about examining our own heart before him and our own desires and the way that we're hearing. This stuff from outside in, it creeps into the church and here's what happens.

Oh, my marriage is falling apart. The church should have done a better series on that, you know? Well, the teenagers are leaving, you know, they go to college.

They don't go back to church. Should have had a funnier youth pastor, you know? Should have had better programming. The college students aren't coming and doing this or should have had a better, you know, whatever, first ten and all that stuff that we do for, like we always want to look in and say, well, it's got to be the system. The system is the problem.

But what I want to call you to do is think about this with me. If you've got one church where there are people that are wildly growing but at the same time there are those that are wildly slowing, how could it be the system? If the system is healthy, if the church is generally healthy, then growing or slowing probably comes down to how we're thinking about those things and what we actually are desiring from the Lord in those things.

Quick to hear, enthusiasm, bright sunshiny day when it comes to His Word, changing my life. You know, I want you to imagine with me two different families and they don't have to become in a mercy hill. There are dozens of healthy churches in the tribe, okay? I want you, healthy church meaning, you know, I would say gospel preaching, cares about the next generation, probably a diversity in leadership elder led some kind of way. I mean, we can name a few missions oriented. There's dozens of churches like this all through the tribe.

So it ain't got to be mercy hill. Let's think about a family plugging into one of those, a disconnected family, young kids. Six months to a year later, man, they're starting to come alive. Six months to a year later, their kids are starting to be discipled, not just at the kid's ministry but in the home because dad has started reading the Bible to them. Six months to a year later, they have friendships like they thought they would never have because they've shown up and they've done the work and they've invited people into their home and they've decided to be known. And six months to a year later, they're contemplating things that they never could have thought about, like moving all the way to a tithe or thinking about using their vacation time to serve at kids week.

They're thriving. Same church, same similar stage, life family, you know. They come into the church and the first thing they notice is that their kids don't really connect with the student pastor. You know, they go to a group but, you know, nobody really took that much of an interest in them and they kind of felt a little snubbed by the whole thing so they don't go back. And when the church pushes them to serve all the time, I mean, who do they think they are? Like I'm not serving kids.

I don't do kids, okay? So what we end up doing after six months or a year is just sort of coming to church when it's convenient once out of every three, once out of every four, we float in and then one day we float out as fast as we came in and that family over coffee with some friends of theirs ends up talking about how that church just doesn't care and love and connect with people. Yeah, you're right. It's always somebody out there, isn't it? It's the circumstance, isn't it?

It's the system, isn't it? What if this passage is trying to call us to consider how we are hearing and how our heart is connected to the way that we are hearing the word and practicing in community. And so this is what I want to call you to. Man, I just want to say this again and then we'll be done. I want to call you to this thing. What are you thinking about for your spiritual life in five years?

Man, what does it look like? College student, do you want to be that student who every college student says they want to live for something beyond money and then they get about 25 or 27 years old and they're living for money. I mean, that's just the way of the world. Man, I've got dozens of examples, hundreds really of kids in this church that that wasn't true of them. Man, that they radically set their heart on mission.

Five, ten years later, their heart is still radically set on mission. Do you want that to be you? Do you want God to do that in your life? Man, do you, you know, I think about the family. Like, do you want to have that type of family where the neighbors are looking in going like, man, that's crazy you would spend your vacation time to go on a mission trip and take your whole crew to go on a mission trip.

And that should have been the European vacation of a lifetime and you spent all that money to take them to serve. Is that what you want your family to look like four or five years from now? You know, I was thinking about this. You got to show this picture. Six-year-old child.

Oh, you can't really see that. Six-year-old child in the intro of the sermon last week and she writes, people are the mission. Man, is that, do we want our kids to know things like that so much that they write them down?

I thought about this. There's a 13-year-old girl in our church every single Monday. She goes and is a one-on-one helper with my baby girl, Faith Ann, who's in a preschool class. She's six years old but she's in a two to three-year-old preschool class. But she needs a one-on-one so that she doesn't get left behind so that she ends up participating with all the other kids in everything that they do. And one of the girls from our church, 13 years old, every single Monday without fail, faithful to do it. And I thought about the difference.

Are you kidding me? Most 13-year-olds can't get their eyes off of their phone, boy crazy, mean girl, tick-tock. And you have this student, this teenager, I want to serve.

What do you want your life to look like in four or five years? And can't you see today, man, that God can do it. He is calling you to make the decisions you need to make so that He can work in your life. And you know what the greatest motivation of all is? This charge, as hard as it is. I mean it's almost a chastisement. That's what it is. As hard as it is.

You know what's couching it? Jesus Christ is the great high priest. I mean how beautiful is this? God is calling us into an opportunity to grow in maturity for all eternity. Jesus died to give us that pathway into this relationship with God that will grow all through eternity.

We will become more in love with Him and more mature. We will continue this journey. This is what He has done in giving us His blood, in dying for us. And so here's the thing.

This is what is so beautiful about this. I don't know what you're thinking because in a sermon like this, I can start feeling really convicted. That's good when it's from the Spirit. It's bad when it's our own kind of shame coming out and we don't want to think about the Gospel. If you're feeling under conviction, this is a good thing from the Spirit.

Here's what you need to hear. There are probably some things that you need to repent of. There's probably some things I need to repent of.

Alright but here's the beauty of it. In knowing we have a great high priest, we have one who has stood in for us. You and I feel stagnant, Christian, but in this moment God sees us filled with zeal.

You're like, man I don't feel that way. I know. But that is who you are in Christ.

You know who you are? Jesus shines. Psalm 69 10. Zeal for your house. My heart is filled with it. It consumes me is what Christ says. That is true of you whether you feel like it or not.

And so what we do today is we take the charge, man we take it right on the chin as He's saying here, but we realize, wait a minute, this is who I am. One who is not dull of hearing. One who is quick and one who is diligent.

One who is bright sunny day. One who is exuberant, enthusiastic about the Word and about community. This is actually who I am.

So now let us go live into it. What is the step that God is calling you to take? Man is He calling you to lead a community group next session?

Is He calling you? Man to step into that next level of leadership in a weekend role here at Mercy Hill. Maybe that's stepping into a coordinator role, volunteer position. Hey there's 150 people signed up for Go Teams.

We're praying for 200 this year. Is God calling you? Maybe something like that.

Is it time to stop talking about adoption and start moving forward with adoption? I don't know. You would know.

What is God calling you to? I think about this. Y'all we're going to have 14 or 15 City Project students that come and give up five or six weeks this summer. Would you house one of them? Man we've done this for two years over the years. Anna and I both would say it's one of the greatest blessings in ministry that we've been able to do.

Do you have an extra room in your house? What is God calling you to do? Would you take this step with Him? Man let's make a decision to put ourselves in a position to grow like crazy over the next few years.

Let's do it today alright? Would you guys pray with me? Father we come before you and Lord we're asking you to move in our life. God we're asking you to do some crazy stuff and moving our affections around. Lord I've called this church to put themselves in a position to put themselves before your word, to put themselves in community and be changed. God those of us that are slow to hear right now, Father I pray we will purpose it in our heart that that isn't the division and the dream that we have for our life. God move us in spiritual maturity. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-18 18:07:57 / 2023-03-18 18:24:12 / 16

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