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February 14, 2020 9:00 am
Today on life with JD Greer. I love old mood for Jesus even thinks he mother wasted on memory reporting that act of love out on she I would say that that's what is missing from many of your spiritual lives. I know I know because I speak as one of you.
You do a lot of right things for God, but you really do it without being passionately in love with God after Jeannie church Raleigh Durham North Carolina down to being a good Christian because you're trying to imitate God.
Are you doing it because you adored Pastor JD shows us why when we experience the beauty of the gospel, we are compelled to walk in love, light and wisdom in order to become a child of God, because as his beloved children can't help but want to, let's jump right in God's word Bible you take it out and opened it in Ephesians chapter 5 Ephesians chapter 5 write a series called love, incorruptible, in which we work our way pretty much verse by verse through the book of Ephesians in the title of the message this weekend is walk this way, apologies.
Of course, to run DMC and Arrowsmith for the same with Sadie's throwback bear, but first of all, I am a child of the 80s I was born in the 80s but I rub the 80s the cultural pinnacle of music and movies in all things art, and secondly, more importantly, I believe that phrase summarizes perfectly what Paul is trying to say in Ephesians chapter 575 Paul is going to lay out for us three specific ways that we should walk in light of who we are in Christ. Three different times in the chapter he says walk this way, perhaps even more importantly, he is going to show us where we can get the power to walk that way you see if somebody's legs are disabled. You're going to have to do more than simply explain to them how to walk you Show them videos of how to walk. You gotta first correct what is broken got a call about a month ago from one of our staff pastors telling me that another one of our staff pastors was in the emergency room, I cannot panic about why he's in his mid 30s is really healthy. Yet kids in and they said he broke his femur.
I was going to ask you gotta be to me as I will what happened and I sorry got quite have the lineman ever met a guy said skateboarding accident not up when honestly I don't know what to feel or what to say because breaking your femur is no joke your 35-year-old man doing skateboard stunts to show offer his kids off like there's a lot of room for joking and not so kind is not sure what to do with that. When I finally got Blair on the phone. I was like, so what you do what you what you said is it while trying to show my kids how to do a 180 backside to clip on the top of 1/2 bite. That's what is this is my before the daredevil stunt right there where he broke his paper so well.
I don't do anything about Blair, I can assure you that he shared Christ with every single EMC every single nurse and doctor at Duke Hospital and wrote them all thank you note after it was over will probably be able start a campus there in the femur ward of Duke Hospital at any point now, but for the moment, for the moment. Pastor Blair is not able to walk on this problem, however, is not here. It's not that you remember how to walk. It's not that he had none obtained some walking is probably here it is like his leg is broken so he doesn't have the strength to walk so the doctors want to enable him to walk again. They can just explain to them how to walk the gotta correct what is broken and so they've inserted a metal rod there in his leg to help reshape his legs. We can walk again.
Will see. That's basically what Paul does in Ephesians 5. Just tell us how to walk. He points us to the place where we can find the power to walk again.
Which is why Paul starts his walking instructions. If you will, in Ephesians 5 with a very important word and that word is therefore, therefore, is how the chapter opens therefore therefore connects what Paul is about to say with what Paul is just finishing one folder finished site over four chapters. He's laid out for us what God has done for us in Christ. He shows what God saved us from and who got us predestined us to be. Therefore, in light of all that he says be imitators of God be like God has beloved children as beloved children means because you been made a beloved child not in order to be a beloved child but because you are beloved child is a gift of God's grace we see almost every religion of the world teaches the opposite. Almost every religion of the world teaches you that if you will keep the laws of God sufficiently. Then you can become a child of God. Christianity reverses that this is not for chapters falls explain you became a child of God as an act of adoption by God's grace he gave you a gift in Christ and because of that, because of that you should love God and you should want to imitate God, not because you have to to become his child because you're so grateful that you are his child. The older that I get the more I often look in the mirror the morning us on the lookout can be startled because all I see Lynn Greer my dad looking back at me, that's my dad right there is not in the house but I just what I look like you look like him or I will overhear myself walking around the house yelling things and off like it's him like a walk in the rooms were nobody is in the lights Ron and I'll be like. Is anyone in this room is anyone in this room for sure. Seems like somebody's in his room. All the lights are on in his room and out from my dad say when we were growing up.
And so overhear myself sounding like yeah and I see myself looking like him, but that's okay, that is okay because I love him and I've always wanted to be like him anyway we'll see as children of God, who been saved by the mercy of God. We adore the beauty of God. We want to become like our God is nature, his character is so deeply beautiful to us because by that beauty. And by that character he saved us all the worse thing you try to do is try to imitate God when you don't really love God or have God's heart inside of you, one time really admiring this guy for just how much he seemed to care about people is one of his guys whenever you talk to them. You are always most important person in the universe to him and is always interested in what you are saying remember details that you you told him when I was just like now. We really want to be like that and so I tried to imitate him. I tried to be enthusiastic about every person that I met. I tried to make them feel special. But after a while I realized I just don't like people is much as I got guys I don't think more than I need to imitate that guy's behavior.
I need his heart, not for polestar because that's where you have to start sermons that only focus on the must do with Christianity. By the way, that's where the majority of sermons you here. That's what a focus is going to do this and do that we call the sermons around here because we think they state right but they they focus only on what you did some you're getting that just now. Okay you focus only on the due part of Christianity, and it wears you out. It wears you out because like do this and do that anything that all the comments out of God is no, not even made a child of God by grace and because of that is going to change your heart and you want to imitate God when you imitate God, you walk in three different ways.
He says there are three ways that you can walk in Ephesians 5 way number one is that you should walk in love. That's verses one into wanted to walk in love to compulsions walk in love versus Christ loved us and gave himself up for asked.
In other words, you need to love others a way that you have been love. How has Christ loved you. Words come to mind unconditionally sacrificially generously, always forgiving, never given up.
You know those kind words. That's how you love others at your first compulsion. Your second compulsion as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Like an Old Testament sacrifice where you are loving God by doing this thing. Your loving God by loving somebody else is like offering a sacrifice a Christian is to inward compulsions to love the verse is simply doing for others what Christ has done for us, loving like we have been love. Let me just ask you, what would your relationships look like if that became the standard for how you related to the people that are in the orbit of your life.
Let's take just one.
One small area and multiplied in one small area of the area of forgiveness to those you who are married, what would your marriage look like if you regularly for gave your spouse in the way into the measure that Jesus forgave you.
We have told you.
I know I told you before, the several years in our marriage. Veronica and I my wife and I were having a hard time because we were both so focused on how the other one had hurt or disappointed us. So I responded to her based on what I thought she deserved what she how she treated me and she responded to me based on what you thought I deserved. According to how I treated our one day, a counselor looked us both in the face and told us that even though I was pastor's.
He was a pastor's wife.
She said your problem is that neither of you are acting like you actually believe the gospel is a problem is your boat acting like your righteous people who are being asked to forgive somebody who's wrong you instead of thinking yourself primarily as sinners who have been forgiven far more than God is asking you to forgive that other person and he taught us a phrase that literally transformed our marriage and have given it to you before that phrase was first sent our second send against your first and foremost her identity as a sinner who's been greatly forgiven by God only. Secondly, are you sin against you verse that you think that your primarily send against it. All you your center to your primarily one that's been wrong. Is it if you would change that focus and you would see yourself as a recipient of great love and forgiveness and begin to love and forgive her the way Christ love and forgive you 90% of the problems in your marriage would disappear. We are to love as we have been love. That's the first compulsion reversible. The second compulsion, Paul says is as an act of love toward God. A fragrant offering and a sacrifice like an Old Testament sacrifice. What that shows this is that one will ultimately loving. When we do these things is God. Here's why that's so important goals in this pay very close attention is like a board.
Sometimes we feel like the person were being asked to love is not worthy of our love a man they don't recognize it. They don't even appreciate not know much do my love and Veronica like Christ loved the church. As long as you recognize it and will miss you praise me to rephrase about it that's that's that's her part of the deal but see I'm not just being kind to my wife out of love for my wife. I'm being kind to my wife out of love for Jesus. I once knew a woman who said you know for so long in my marriage I just couldn't bring myself to forgive my husband she said, because he never seem to realize how much you hurt me and he never changes, much as I thought that he should change, she said, but then one day I realized my husband may never be worthy of my forgiveness. But Jesus is the answer for Jesus's sake first and only my husband sake. Second, will I do this thing. What if you look through whomever you were being asked love look through them and behind them. You see, the Lord Jesus Christ. Any behind them and then you look at whatever you're doing them has first and foremost for him was applied in another area.
How would your giving change if you viewed your giving is a response to God first and foremost what he's given you in the gospel.
I often teach you that are giving should not be first and foremost about meeting the need are giving to first and foremost be a response to the gospel. So when I talk to you about giving often talk about the importance of giving our first in our best. You should give your first in your best to God, whether you make $200 a month or 200,000 see if you're a multimillionaire you might be able to stroke a check for half $1 million not blink an eye and and thereby you become one of the larger givers in our church but just because you be meeting the need, you will still wouldn't be giving your first in your best to God. And so for you. It would be an unworthy response to the gospel in the same way if you make $200 a year and you get a check for $40 that promise not to make that much difference in the life of the church. Whatever ministry are giving to, but it might for you represent your first and your best, which is what God is calling for them a sense in light of what God has given to you. We as an act of love back to him should be given the first in our best of our resources back to him. Maybe the best illustration of all this is the woman who comes in the night before Jesus goes across and takes a really expensive bottle of perfume, and she breaks it open and pours it out on Jesus feet and it looks like out of a sweet act of sacrifice what everybody else is kind of aghast like I was such a waste sold that for several thousand dollars and she could have given the money to the poor. It would be much better used putting food in the bellies of hungry people in it would be just as a fragrance that would appear in Jesus's feet for a few hours and then be gone forever. Jesus was so moved by what she did but he said that everywhere the gospel was free from that point on that woman story would be told because her response so perfectly represented the right response to the gospel which is love toward Jesus did take a note, write it down this way, our acts of love toward others are ultimately for Jesus even if they seem like they're being wasted on the person you're pouring them out on our acts of love are ultimately for Jesus even if they seem like a wasted on whomever you're pouring that act of love outline. You see, I would say that that's what's missing from many of your spiritual lives. I know I know because I speak as one. Have you you do a lot of right things for God, but you really do it without being passionately in love with God move the imagine a single mom with one child that she pours her life for just to see him have a chance of a better life. She works two jobs. She scrimped and saved to keep them clothed and fed. She teaches an industry honestly hard work charity when he comes of age. She scrapes together her meager savings, and she manages to put into college. He graduates from college gets a great job and never talk to her again. He sent a Christmas card since her birthday cards but didn't answer her letters even go to visit you then return her phone calls but but he's good he's good. He tell the truth.
He works hard. He cares for the poor just like she taught him anything for what's the big deal on doing everything that she wants. I became the man she wanted me to become not good enough. What you say, no, no, it's not acceptable simply to live a good life and ignore relationship with one person to whom you owe everything that's exactly what many Christians do with God. They focus on doing right things for God, but are not passionately in love with God. Paul says with you understand the gospel. And if you understand what God is done for you, then you will walk in love toward others as a way of responding to the love of God for you. Number two is that you should walk in light the next 11 or so versus there versus three for 14 to jump down to verse eight, first, where he first uses the phrase walk as children of light and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord, take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness. But instead expose them. God, it has shined the light of his presence in the truth about you and the world into your life and so you should walk in that light tried to discern. That's the language of intentionality. In other words, you need to focus the light of God's word on various relationships in your life to think about whether or not you were living according to the light of God. Sometimes after my wife goes to bed. I try to read and it annoys her when I leave the bedside light on because it makes it hard for her to sleep with the ambient light or whatever is a being the awesome husband that I am I went but was alone LED headlamps thing right there I would take a case longer, but it totally gets the job done, but the light is focused where your point is kind of funny when she will show like you call my name or something. I look over at her like right there in the middle the night but but if I felt I got a focus exactly on where I'm reading because it's really bright light but only when I'm signing it. What Paul is saying is you take that brilliant light of the gospel and then you gotta look into various areas of your life to analyze whether your living according to what you know is true in God and Christ.
Point the light of the gospel. There think about them. Don't go with the flow and do not assume that your heart because you're a Christian is to steer you correctly also proud of my nine euro do they come right on her for a minute she went over to some friends house to watch a movie a is a Disney movie is your back is a lousy movie. She sounds really good. Dad except for that stupid thing that is in every single Disney movie that you should just follow your heart because your heart always knows best. We all know where that leads. Don't we dad suggest we do.
She said she said like Adam and Eve. They follow their heart and it led to disaster. I think that's my girl that's my girl right there only dove all your heart, your instincts buzzing don't do that you think through your life with the gospel. Lance and to do this takes effort. It's not going to come naturally because the current of the world is going so strongly in the other direction back in verse 14 he intensifies the metaphor a little bit compared to the waking up his eyes away cosleeper rise from the dead in Christ will shine on you know hard it is really wake up from a good sleep. You know whether it's a nap or whether it's as early in the morning. I'm not out really admit my wife is awesome at this*the alarm goes off like for 1/2 second metal implants. She is up and she is on it and she is out me. I'm like the total opposite that alarm goes off my I have such glorious plans often for my morning they get ruined by a little teeny tiny button on the top of that alarm clock that they made way too easy to access called snooze and I will blah blah the God only go to the gym today snooze. I don't forgive the little memo quiet time snooze is going to work a couple hours late snooze. I can always get another job snooze just snooze snares did not resort. Paul says, wake yourself up because the world you live in is sleeping and death don't go with the flow. You gotta wake up so we highlights and there's versus a couple really specific areas that we need to sign the light on but these are just a couple of examples. He could've chosen on a bunch of examples, but two of them really specific. The first point about verse three restarts a section personal sexual morality but sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness will, that men must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints proper means fitting or consistent with what you know from what you've learned in the light, so that's a question. Why is sexual immorality not proper or fitting with being in the light world's attitude toward sex is its physical desire and in that way. It's not unlike other physical desires. You get hungry you eat so when you desire sex. It shouldn't be thought of that much differently in the Bible, hold that darkness because the Bible, by contrast, shines a light on what sex is supposed to be.
This is great imagery when you when you're in darkness. I think of walking into a dark room. You walk in the dark room try to give one side of the other can't see anything. I guarantee you if you barefoot your toes can find the corner of that table just so you can bang your toes in it because it feels like I should walk this way but from light on.
See what you should walk is a lot of people going through life feeling their way through what feels right, and what feels right at the end up in disaster because of God shine his light in this area of Saxons that is because it feels right. The minute is right and shows us instead listen that sex is a profound union between a man and a woman, a mingling of souls. If you will, an act of love and commitment in which a oneness in your bodies is supposed to be matched by oneness in every other area I mean think about it when you are are sexually engaged with somebody your bodies literally in a lot, you become one person physically, and that is supposed to be matched by oneness in every other area emotionally, spiritually, financially, your futures are supposed to be united together by covenant and when you have sex outside of marriage you're taking physical oneness from that person without giving them the rest of yourself. Now you say, but I love them.
I'm sure that you do. But the point is, you haven't given yourself to them and covenant formed yet and you and I both know that until you do, you can walk away at any point you say well H1 is not a place where we can get married right now. Fine and stop having sex. Scripture is clearly God and what you doing that until the covenant uniting you for life is in place.
Having sex outside of the bonds of the covenant places you in darkness to verse five will little listeners strong languages.
You may be sure question about this when I talk about some of her interpretation. You may be sure that everybody who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous that has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God may translate that for you and really plain English. If you're sleeping with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you have no inheritance in the kingdom of God.
You see out, but that's only making it up right there and I know that that's making some of you nervous and maybe even for little awkward because right now you're sit next to somebody your living with her sleep and with that you're not married to this sort of gotten clear there bubbling that you haven't realized that before the Lord until just now. Fine.
You now have information you didn't have previously have to start living right today ladies listen about diagnoses is that all about guys going to be any kind of spiritual leader, and he will heed this and if not, he is in darkness and he's gonna leave you and your future family and the darkness you need to get out of the relationship right now for your listening experience. You can catch up free of email@example.com.
You can even view Pastor James teaching transmits this weekly released a brand-new Senate life book titled hidden graces. You can read Pacitti's account of what his journey through reviving his church look like as a pastor. It also includes stories from several other long-time members and elders at the summit church to demonstrate God's grace that's available to all of our churches, the stories in this new resource will hit home with so many of you, but you've been in your church for a short time.
For decades I think that we really encouraged and challenged by the stories are members have to tell journey hasn't been easy.
God has revitalized and brought our church back to life lending you a copy of this powerful book and comes with our thanks when you donate to support this ministry asked for hidden graces eight surprising stories that led to a dying church's revitalization need any today by calling 866-335-5220 866-335-5224. If it's easier you think in online dating career.com Randy Amelia nation are addressed 83 ministries PO Box 93, Durham, NC 27709 mixing let me remind you that it her email and want to go on the best way to stay with say that you never miss hearing.com). On