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Start Pursuing

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
September 27, 2015 6:00 am

Start Pursuing

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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September 27, 2015 6:00 am

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Well, thank you, Pastor J, for that incredibly warm welcome.

I was incredibly grateful for your friendship, but you have just gotten kicked out of the circle of trust. And so, man, that's always a fun thing to walk up on stage and see that video that you didn't know was going to get played. That's awesome.

Great. Well, my name is Jason Gaston. Welcome to the Summit Church. As you heard Pastor JD say, I have the opportunity to serve with a great team of people in our family ministry's team. We're seeing God do some incredible things in the lives of our kids and our students here at the Summit Church. In fact, this weekend, all across the Summit Church, we have 45 different families being commissioned to raise their kids in a home that they would see their kids love Jesus, set their hearts and affections on Jesus. We're also joined by all of our middle school students this weekend in worship at all of our campuses this weekend, which is awesome. Let me go ahead and tell you something. God is at work in the next generation here at the Summit.

You've been hearing a lot about that. And it's through His grace and through His mercy and through His power that we're seeing that. But it's also through another set of people. It's not just the staff. We have a great staff. I really believe that God has brought some of the best staff we could have ever asked for in our kids and our student ministries. But God is extending His grace and His mercy and His love to the next generation here at the Summit Church through our volunteers. To the people that give up their weekends to go and not babysit but disciple and invest in your children. To our middle school leaders and to our high school leaders that are investing in the next generation. Those are the real heroes here at the Summit Church of those that are investing in the next generation. So I want to publicly tell you how thankful I am for you. And we honor you for the way that you selflessly give up your time, your energy, and invest in the next generation here. We're grateful for you. If you have your Bibles, you can go ahead and open them up to the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5.

We're going to be in the first five verses, primarily verses 6 and in verse 3 in that order. And while you're turning there, I want to talk a little bit about something that we all have in this life. And it's assumptions. Assumptions.

Just as I experienced a few minutes ago, I had a bad, a false assumption that the things that I would send to Pastor JD in private would remain private. You have an assumption. Your life in a lot of ways is built on an assumption. We have assumptions that kind of mold and direct us in a lot of ways.

I heard a story several years ago about a young woman who made a pretty bad assumption that almost cost her her life. I can't remember her name, but for the sake of time, we'll just call her Jillian. Okay? And so there's a young lady named Jillian. And Jillian was a snake owner. And Jillian owned a python.

I don't remember the python's name, so for the sake of humor, we'll name him Monty. Alright? There we go. See? That's right. Jillian owned Monty the python.

Alright? She bought him when he was a little lad and began to feed him and take care of him. And one day, eventually, Monty got too big for his little aquarium. So she thought, man, Monty's been really good to me. I'm not going to make him stay in his aquarium anymore. So I'm going to let him roam free in the home.

Right? So that went on for a few years. She fed him his food. He joined her on the couch for a TV show or whatever, you know. And eventually, she got so comfortable with Monty that she actually allowed Monty to sleep in the same bed. So Monty, at the time, about a seven and a half foot python, is now curled up in her bed, sleeping on the pillow next to her. I don't think Jillian is getting married with a snake sleeping in her next to her bed. Right? So she starts to notice something weird about Monty.

It's her beloved pet. He starts losing weight. He's getting older, but he's not that old.

Right? But he's losing weight, and it seems as if he's getting sick. And one morning, she wakes up.

Over the course of about seven days, he had lost a lot of weight. And that morning, she woke up, and Monty was not in his normal position anymore. He wasn't curled up near the bed.

He was actually laying lengthwise next to her on the bed. So she freaked out. She thought, this is the end. Monty's going to die.

So what am I going to do? I'm going to take him to the vet. So she puts him in the truck, takes him to the vet, gets to the vet.

She starts to explain to the vet all of the things that are happening with Monty. And the doctor's face begins to just lose all of its color, and he says, ma'am, okay, so you're saying that Monty, this past week, has lost a lot of weight. Yes, that's right. And this morning, when you woke up, you rolled over. He was laying lengthwise next to you. That's correct? He said, yes, sir, that's correct. And he said, you cannot take Monty home. We're going to have to put him down, and we're going to have to put him down immediately. Well, most people in their right mind would be cheering. That snake, dead, right?

Yeah, I'm pumped. That thing deserves to die. And not Jillian, she was heartbroken because it was her pet snake. And she was heartbroken and crying, and so she said, why? Why does Monty have to die? He looked at her, and he said, Jillian, your pet snake hasn't been losing weight because he's sick. He's been losing weight because he's starving himself for a big meal.

And this morning, when you woke up and saw him laying next to you in the bed, he was sizing you up to eat you alive. Right? Nobody's feeling good about that. That's an assumption that Jillian had that the snake was able to live in freedom and not really do her any harm, and it almost cost her her life. Now, I'm pretty sure that that story's not true. Okay?

I'm pretty sure that that was just some made-up story that I read on Google because I may have Googled it. But in Matthew chapter 5, you're like, did he just go from Monty the python to Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount? Yes, I did. Okay? I'm in youth ministry.

That's how I can do that. All right? In Matthew chapter 5, the crowd that he was addressing and even the disciples that he had brought near to him, the people had a lot of assumptions about what it meant to follow God. They had certain things that they were basing and building their life off of about what equated to them and their mind to godliness. And mainly those two things flesh themselves out in these two categories, that religious activity and religious conformity equaled godliness, that my ability to act like a follower of God or a godly man or a godly woman, and my ability to do the things and to say the things, right? I can play the part. I can act the part. I can say the things that I need to say is surely equated to me being a godly person.

Now, I think if we're brutally honest, and if I can be brutally honest with you, many of us slip into that category so easily. We know what to say, and we know when to say it. We can speak the newest Christian lingo that's out on the market. We know to say the gospel, this, the gospel, that. Brother, let me pray for you.

Sister, I'm praying for you. Oh, be blessed. We know how to say those things, and not only do we know how to speak the language, which can be dangerous, we also know how to conform externally. We know how to look the part when we're supposed to look the part. Example, my children, okay? They're demons, but they show up to church or they show up to school, and their teacher's like, oh, my gosh, they're so good. I'm like, you're not around them, okay? They know when to conform at the right times. We do the same thing, and listen. That path, external conformity, everything looks good on the outside, but is actually leading to death on the inside is what this series is all about, phantom faith.

Everything's good externally, but internally, it's driving you to a place of death. Jesus not only flips the assumptions that these people have on their head, he does it out of love because he knows that if they continue to pursue the things that they're pursuing and the way that they are pursuing it, it will eventually lead to their eternal separation from God the Father, which is why Jesus showed up on the scene. Today, in the Sermon on the Mount, we're going to be talking about the pursuit of happiness.

Jesus would use another word in the Sermon on the Mount. He would call it blessed or blessed, depending on how you say that word, you grew up, right? We all seek blessing, right? I mean, everybody is in the pursuit of blessing in some capacity, right?

Some people say that this is actually the greatest form of happiness that you could ever have. In Matthew Chapter 5, a lot of people have called the beatitudes. They've called it happy or the merciful, happy or the poor in spirit. They've replaced the word blessed with happy, and that's because the Latin word for blessed here is beatus. You guys say it, beatus. Okay, remember that old movie Beetlejuice?

That's what I think of when I say it, that creepy movie, right? Beatus, right? Beatus. Beatus literally means to receive the favor and approval of God. And so Jesus is saying if you want the favor and approval of God, this is your starting block. This is where it all begins, and that's what we're all after, is it not? We're after favor and approval in some capacity, and hopefully we're trying to find it before God the Father.

And many of us all across the triangle today have different approaches on how we think we gain that favor. And that's why here at the summit, we're so passionate about unpacking the gospel to us that it's not about our ability. You heard Pastor JD say this last week. It's not our ability to do.

It's what's been done on our behalf. All the other religions of the world are based off of your ability or inability to perform, but our approval before God in the gospel is God's performance on our behalf in Christ. And Jesus, these people that he's dealing with, listen, they have issues with the same truth.

They're having a hard time grasping what it means to be a follower of God. Now, in Matthew chapter 5, I promise you I'll get to the text in just a second, okay? In Matthew chapter 5, there's an incredibly interesting parallel between the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus goes up on a mountain to instruct God's people in God's ways, you know, so they can begin following God. There's an interesting parallel there between that and in the Old Testament when Moses goes up on the mountain to meet with God and receive the Ten Commandments.

Okay, if you remember the story, right? Moses in the Old Testament goes up on the mountain to meet with God where he would receive as well. He would receive as what we know as the Ten Commandments, right? And so Moses goes up to even receive instruction from God to go down to give to God's people what they had been asking for which were some rules and a law to help them understand some things. And so while Moses in Exodus chapter 32, while Moses is up on the mountain meeting with God to get the instructions from God, okay, mainly like, you shall have no other gods before me because that's how God talks in the Old Testament, right?

You shall have no other gods before me, you should not commit adultery, all that. And right there in Exodus chapter 32, while Moses is up on the mountain meeting with God himself, what's happening below? The people are doing the very thing that God is forbidding them not to do. They're constructing an idol, a golden calf that they would bow down into worship to. And this is going to show us that from the very beginning of history, listen, from the very beginning of history, we see that the demonstration, the standards of God's righteousness cannot be accomplished by sinful human beings by themselves.

We need someone to step in, to assist in the process. You cannot get to God by yourself, God has to come to you. And here, Jesus on the mountain is getting ready to unfold the same exact thing to his disciples in Matthew 5. So here we go, Matthew 5, verse 1.

Now, when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and he sat down. His disciples came to him and he began to teach them, saying this, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. And blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. If you are taking notes today, and I hope that you are, now would be a good time for you to pull that out, because I'm getting ready to give you your first point.

And your first point is this, alright? Our lives are spent in constant pursuit of something. Our lives, your life, my life, they are spent in constant pursuit of something. Look at Matthew 5, verse 6, Jesus says, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

What Jesus is saying here is, you're going to hunger, you're going to thirst after something in your life. You are going to pursue things. Every single person, under the sound of my voice today, is in pursuit of something. And that's not a bad thing. It's a human thing.

Right? You were created to pursue. We all have different pursuits. You are in this room right now, and you are in one place, and you are hoping to get to another.

Therefore, we call that a pursuit. You might be here, and you might be a guy who's been dating a girl, and you're hoping to build a family. Alright? You've been dating this girl for, let's just say, like a year, two, three, we'll call it five. You've been dating her for five years. Okay? You need to start pursuing that woman if you want to build a family, dude. Alright? If you like it, put a ring on it. Right?

But you're in the South, so you've got to ask Daddy first. Don't forget that important step. You're welcome. Okay? Pursue her. Go after her. You have her.

Like, man, she's there. She's waiting for you to pursue her in that capacity. Do it.

You're welcome. Okay? Maybe you're here, and you're pursuing a career. You just finished your academics. You just finished studying. Maybe you're getting ready to go into the military because you want to pursue a career in the military. Maybe you just started your first job, and you're working really hard and diligent and sometimes long hours because you want stability.

You want to use the gifts and the passions that you have to build a career for yourself. That's a good thing. Maybe you're here, and you're in pursuit of healthy living. Okay? I just started working out at a gym about a month ago called AD Training, and it's not because I want to get huge. Alright?

I'm in my 30s, and I have three kids. I don't care about getting huge anymore. Okay?

That's done. Right? I just want to be healthy. Why do I want to be healthy? Well, because I want to sit across from a dude one day who wants to take my daughter's hand in marriage. I want him to ask me and look me in the eye, and I want to be able to walk my daughter down the aisle. I want to be able to sit around the campfire with my boys 20 years from now sipping on coffee, talking about the big deer that we just shot that morning.

Right? That's how rednecks roll. That's how we do. That's what I want to do. Maybe you're here, and you're after the pursuit of wisdom.

That's why you've come to this area to go to some of the best universities and schools that we have to offer. Offer. Not author.

Offer. Maybe you're here for seminary because you're pursuing godly wisdom, or maybe you're just one of those people that really likes to read books on the side. Right? You love to soak things up. You are in the pursuit of wisdom. Maybe you are pursuing pleasure. Maybe you're an adrenaline junkie.

You love to jump out of perfectly good airplanes with a little pack on your back. Right? Because you think that sounds like a great idea. Maybe you just are so addicted to it, you love the high and the feel that it gives, and that's a good thing. It makes you feel like you're alive. Right? Or maybe on the flip side of that, maybe you're so addicted to pleasure that it's actually sent you in a different direction because you're so addicted to sexual pleasure or things like that, that it actually led you to a place where you signed up on an account for Ashley Madison. You're in pursuit of something.

Maybe you were a high school student just a few years ago, and you wanted to pursue with your life athletic dominance, and that's why when the recruiter sat across from you, you decided to sign your national letter of intent to the North Carolina State Wolf Pack. Right? That's for you, my people out in Raleigh. Okay?

I love you. Alright? Chapel Hill is leaving. They are leaving. They're walking out right now. We're all in pursuit of something.

Right? We all pursue something. There is a pursuit that you, in your seat today, you are going after.

Number two. We pursue that which we think gives us value and happiness. We pursue the things that we think will bring us joy, bring us value, and ultimately give us happiness. Jonathan Edwards said this. Jonathan Edwards is an old, famous preacher, and this is what he said. He said, when a creature is in that state that is most agreeable to the proper perfection of its nature, then it is in its most happy state.

Alright, so let me break that down for us in layman's terms here for just a second. Okay? When is a teacher most happy? When they teach. When is a hunter most happy? When he's hunting.

Alright? When is a carpenter most happy? When they are constructing their project. When is a runner happy? They're never happy because running is from the devil. Right? Nobody knows where that is.

Nobody. Right? They're never happy. When is a pitcher happy?

Not when he's in the bullpen, but when he's on the mound pitching in the game. We are most happy, listen, we are most happy when we are doing what we and our very beings and our very nature long to do and are designed to do. Have you ever been in a job that did not match up with your skill set and you absolutely hated it? Anybody? Okay, that led to a life of what? Frustration.

You're like, that's me right now, bro. Okay, I'm in that. So what are you doing? You are now in the pursuit, you are looking for another job. Right? You want to look somewhere else.

You're out of your element. Don't miss this connection that Jesus is making in Matthew 5 here. He knows that by nature, by human nature, every person on the planet is going to pursue something. But he also knows that the jacked up nature of our heart reveals that our pursuits are actually out of alignment for what they were created for.

Romans chapter 1 verse 25 says this, we exchange the truth of God for a lie and we worship and serve the created things rather than the creator. And until this pursuit finds a resting place in your life, you will constantly go on living in frustration. And the reason you're going to live in frustration is because you have made secondary things ultimate things. You've made things that God created in you to pursue him, the pursuit of your life should be after him. You've taken that and you've placed it in other places. You've given secondary things an ultimate type weight in your life. And you are going to be constantly frustrated until your soul finds a resting place in God.

Why? Because we were made for him, to enjoy him, to bask in his glory, to enjoy the good things that he has to offer us from his good hand. Remember that quote, a creature is most happy when it is according to its design, us, all of us, you, me, we, we were designed for God. Augustine, an early church father, a quote that we like to throw around a lot in church, actually knew this quite well when he said, God has made us for himself and we are restless until our souls find rest in him. Now, because this is the summit church, I have to quote, it's like in a contract somewhere, I have to quote the man of the hour, the tower of power, Charles Spurgeon.

Okay, so here's your Spurgeon quote for the day. Men are in a restless pursuit after satisfaction in earthly things. They will exhaust themselves in the deceitful delights of sin and finding them all to be vanity and emptiness, they will become very perplexed and disappointed. You ever been there?

I have. But they will continue their fruitless search. Though wearied, they still stagger forward under the influence of spiritual madness and though there is no result to be reached except for that of everlasting disappointment. Yet, they press forward. They have no forethought of their eternal state. The present hour absorbs them.

They turn to another and another of earth's broken cisterns hoping to find water where not a drop was ever discovered yet. Sounds to me like Spurgeon had done some Old Testament reading and studying on the book of Ecclesiastes and one of the wisest men to ever step foot on the planet, Solomon. Who he would, at the end of his life, begin recounting all of his pursuits, all of the pleasure that he pursued, all of the wisdom that he gained, his career in leadership. He would look back and say, I built all of these things, I erected many great monuments, I led my people well.

And you know what he would end up saying at the end of it all? Meaningless. Vanity, vanity, emptiness, emptiness, like a chasing after the wind.

You ever seen anybody run after the wind? No, because it's foolish, you can't grab a hold of it, you can't grab it. That's what, listen, that's what Jesus is saying when we pursue secondary pursuits. It is emptiness, it's foolish, it's like a chasing after the wind. That's why Jesus says if you want to pursue things that has to be, if you want to pursue things that will give you fulfillment and filling in life, it has to be the pursuit of righteousness. The pursuit of kingdom things is the only thing that is going to satisfy your inner longing. But where does kingdom pursuit start? Great question, I'm glad you asked. Point number three, kingdom pursuit begins with a proper posture.

Kingdom pursuit begins with a proper posture. Let's actually go back to the first beatitude that Jesus gives us here, and this is where godly pursuit begins, this is what he says. Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Now, let's make sure that we know what Jesus is not saying in this place. What he's not saying is that your external poverty earns you the favor and approval of God. That your external circumstance of being without, he's saying that is not what earns you the favor and approval. If it was, why would he instruct his disciples to take care of those that were in that place?

That's not what he's saying. What he is saying is this, to be poor in spirit literally means to posture your life in such a way like that of a beggar. That you would posture your heart and your life every day with the posture of, have you ever encountered someone who was begging? You ever walked into the city of Durham or Raleigh or wherever it is that you live, or maybe you went on a mission trip and you encountered someone begging? They are posturing themselves in such a way that says, I am in need of something that I cannot provide myself.

Fill me. You know, there's two different postures that we take with our lives, and we do it every single day. There's the posture of pride that says, I'm good, I don't need it, I don't need your help, friend.

I don't need your assistance, I don't need your advice in my career, I don't need you, God. That's the posture of pride. But then there's the posture of humility. The posture of humility. And listen, according to scripture, this is the posture that God begins his work in our life.

The posture of humility. God deliberately designed the gospel, and when I say the gospel, what I mean by that is his plan of rescuing you from your great need. He deliberately designed the gospel in such a way to strip you of all of your pride and leave you without any grounds of boasting in yourself.

He completely destroys it. There's no grounds at all, none. And the best part of that, that's intentional by God. That is his grace towards us.

Why? Because it's our pride that got us into this mess to start with. God, I don't need you, I don't want you, I'm going to go about my own way. And it's our pride every day that keeps our hearts attached to secondary pursuits. And so it's by God's grace that he orders that our lives would be postured in humility, not in pride. And if you want to be a man or a woman that pursues kingdom things, it's going to have to start with an all out.

Round by round, total knockout battle with your pride. Every single day, you and I are going to have to go to war against our pride. Nothing, listen, nothing, nothing destroys our pride like rehearsing the truths of the gospel to ourselves daily.

Let me just do this little demonstration for you here. Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8, for it is by grace you have been saved through faith, not by works. Works is, I'm good, I can accomplish this, I've got it. It's not by your works, it's by grace you've been saved through faith so that no man may boast. Boasting, grace. James chapter 4 verse 6, God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.

Did you catch that? It's not that God just kind of shakes his head like, oh, there they go again. God stands in opposition to us in our state of pride, but he gives grace to those of us that posture our lives in humility. Proverbs chapter 13 verse 10, arrogance leads to nothing but strife. We know people like that, right?

We work with them, they might be in our home, okay? Like they got it all, they're good, right? And the arrogant person, everywhere that they go, strife ensues. Here it is, strife ensues. But wisdom is gained by those who humbly accept advice. My favorite, 2 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 9, but he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in your weakness. He goes on to say, therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ's power may rest on me. You know what we love to boast in? Our ability. You know what the writer in 2 Corinthians says that we find feeling and power in?

Boasting in our weakness. This, listen, the posture of a beggar is the posture that God longs and desires and that God blesses. When we posture our lives in such a way every day like that of a beggar, God fills you. He does not leave you empty. He fills you with everything that you need for life and godliness. Listen, your walk with Christ, your first step, your walk with Jesus, it starts with the posture of humility.

But you know what? It is sustained every day in your life with the posture of humility. You know, David in the Old Testament was known as a man after the heart of God. They called him a man after God's own heart. You want to be a man or a woman after the heart of God? Proximity, you want to be near to the heart of God? Proximity to the heart of God begins with the posture of your heart where God can work. In what way are you posturing your life today?

Is it a posture of pride? God, I remember the day that you rescued me and you saved me. I remember that. I was here, but today I'm here.

What's the posture of your heart look like? Today I want to close by reading the parable of the prodigal son in the gospel of Luke chapter 15. You know, it's sometime later after the Sermon on the Mount, after Jesus says, you know, the very first beatitude, if you want to start following me, you're going to have to take the posture like that of a beggar, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

He says your pursuit must be after kingdom things and not after secondary things. Sometime later, he would illustrate it beautifully in Luke chapter 15 in his life. And as he's teaching the people, he began to say this. There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, father, give me my share of the estate. So, he divided everything. The son created to know the love and acceptance and joy and pleasure of the relationship with the father, looked at the father and said, I don't need you, but I want the things that you owe me, so I'm going to take them and I'm going to go about on my own.

If that sounds familiar, it should. Genesis chapter 3 with Adam in the Garden of Eden. I was created for you, I was created to know you, but I'm going to take what I deserve, and I'm going to go about my own way. The prodigal son is no different. Verse 13. Not long after that, the younger son got together all that he had, and he set off for a distant country, and there he squandered his wealth in wild living. He threw it all away.

It's gone. Squandered it all. The pursuit of pleasure, he gave a lot of weight to. The pursuit of wisdom, the pursuit of a career, gave a lot of weight to. And it only got worse for him.

Look what else he says. And after he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he, listen, he began to be in great need. I can't help but think that God in that moment was beginning to show the prodigal that his posture was here, and he needed it to be here. But the prodigal didn't listen. He tried to fix it on his own.

Look what happens next. So he went and he hired himself out to a citizen of that country who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He tried to keep building his own life and his own career and his own pursuits and his own ability. And he longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one would give him anything.

It got so bad for him that he found himself longing to eat the scraps from the pigs. But then in verse 17, the story begins to change. When he came to his senses, the Greek word for repentance is metanoia.

It means to have a change of mind. When the prodigal's son repented, when he had a change of mind, when he came to his senses, he said, How many of my father's hired men have food to spare? And here I am starving to death. My father is a father that lavishes his love and his grace and his mercy on all, not just his children, but even his hired men. And here am I, out in the far country, pursuing the things that I think are of the utmost importance.

What am I doing here? I will set out and go back to my father and say to him, Father, I've sinned against heaven and I've sinned against you. I'm no longer worthy to even be called your son.

Make me like one of your servants. Have you ever been to a place where you had to go back to somebody and tell them that you've wronged them? Could you imagine that moment where you lived your life and postured your life like this the whole way? But God began to break you and eventually you had to come back and humbly ask. You know, we have a misconception about God that we think in that place of repentance, God looks at us and thinks, here they are again, they're back, they want more grace.

Seventy times seven, I don't know, I'm running out. That's not the love of your father. And it's displayed beautifully in Luke chapter 15. Listen to what the father did. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him and he ran to his son and he threw his arms around him and he kissed him and he welcomed him back home. Even though the son said, I don't need you, even though the son said, I hated you, even though in that culture that was a sign of completely cutting everything off, he was dead to the father. The son in his repentance came back to the father and the father did not stay far off. The father ran to his son. The father pursued his son.

He ran to him and he covered him in his love and his joy and his acceptance and there the son found his identity again as a son of the father. Your heavenly father has been pursuing you and he did it through his son Jesus on the cross. Will you continue to pursue secondary things and give them godly weight? They will leave you frustrated your entire life.

What is the posture of your heart? Will you pray with me? Maybe you're here today and you recognize yourself as the prodigal.

That's in the pursuit of things that you think are going to fill you, give you happiness and joy. The call of God to you is the same as that of the father to the prodigal son. Return to me. Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest. Come to me in your repentance and I will take you from death to life. But you have to come in humility.

You cannot come in arrogance. And it starts with this, recognizing your need. I'm a sinner and I'm in pursuit of my own things and I recognize your love and mercy towards me in Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Thank you for saving me. Maybe you're here today and you've been walking with Jesus for a long time, but the posture of your heart has turned into a posture of pride and not a posture of humility. The same call from the father to his children is there for us.

Come to your senses. Repent. Posture your heart in such a way where God in your weakness can fill you. You may be weak, but his spirit is strong in you. God, we thank you for your work that you are doing in this place. We thank you that in our place of humility, in a place, in that posture like that of a beggar, God, that's the place where we find our complete need and dependency on you and we lose self-reliance. God, destroy us of our pride. Break our knees and open up our hands and we may be a people that are known as a people of humility in great need of your filling. We love you. Thank you for your work in this place today. In Jesus' name, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-04 17:55:31 / 2023-09-04 18:10:34 / 15

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