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October 27, 2021 8:00 am
And Jesus not because you left your personal doctor toning at initiatives we forgotten. Christianity is about a relationship, not an activity that explains everything you said is celebrating 40 years of faithfulness. This is the alternative opportunity authored speaker, senior pastor of Oakland Bible Fellowship Dallas, Texas, president of the alternative Jesus boil down God's law and it to simple commandment to love God with everything we've God and love others as ourselves into these teaching part of Tony Evans top 40. He unpacks the first of those two mandates. Let's join them for a message called loving God first in a college professor one day wanted to teach his students about priorities. So what was he got a job and he poured a lot of pebbles and stones. The stones began to fill up the jar and then he had one rock, one big rock going to the jar. The problem occurred.
However, that the walk could not get into the job because too many stone had already filled it up stones was smaller than the so many of them that there was no room left for the big rock because too many stone that occupied the space the jar and put them in first point in the stones to this, now that if you put big in first. You still have room for the snow around but you don't move the big because you got so many little things occupy the space what he was teaching them is you always take care the big thing first and then you have room for the little things you like to win a little things so that the big thing can get in you wind up losing the major thing that you need.
God is the big thing. Everything else in your life is a stone compared to the rock. The problem as our lives are filled with so many stones that when it comes time for God is no. We filled it up with work and plan activities and relationships in television and athletics and stone legitimate stones rewind up too tired for rock too busy for wax distracted for rock and then we get upset when the when there was no place for the rock to be. If you get this concept of the repositioning of God in your life. I can assure you that will be a fresh experience with God in your life. Conversely, if God is From the position of primacy of being first. Then you and I will have to bear with the repercussions of not fitting into our lives because too many stones occupying the space over and over again in Scripture, God requires and demands to be one such place which many of you are familiar is in Revelation chapter 2 where John Valeo writes about a message to the church at Ephesus in the middle of this city church was established apples as Bible Fellowship and the Lord sends a letter to the pastor at Ephesus Bible Fellowship called the angel or the messenger, and he was to deliver that message to the congregation. I'm going to deliver the message that he gave them to us since it was written for the church to start with a commendation or a complement. He wants to complement the church first.
He said the first to know your deeds, your toil, your perseverance, you cannot endure evil man. You put to the test those who call themselves apostles that they are not, and you found them to be false. I want to commend you on some great things happening at your church is not the first thing is I see your deeds. These activities sleep. The work you're doing in other words you are serving church. You folks are busy you got folks serving over here folks are over there folks doing folks doing that you got the people engaged in ministry and I see your deeds is not only a sovereign church you are sacrificing church because he said I see your toil toil means to labor to the point of exhaustion or break a sweat so you working hard on your sweat you if you put in extra time and extra effort because I see not only good deed I think your toil. I see the extra stuff you put men over there at the church. I was sent just want to see that I not only feel serving only single sacrificing goes on to say, I see your spirit because I see your perseverance when the going gets tough little quit when the going gets tough. You don't fall in the tile. The going gets tough. You keep on plowing through you don't easily throw in the towel, quit or give up like that about you. Not only do I see you are serving that you are sacrificing and that you are steadfast I see you also separated because you don't tolerate evil you. You will cause you will identify folks who are renegades who are who are living on unacceptable lifestyle and justifying it rather than repenting of the sea that there is a standard that this church operates by that's great.I commend you for that and finally he says also see you are suffering church, because verse three you have perseverance and have endured for my namesake.
You've gone through some tough times and hard times you've been rejected by the culture of Ephesus and you are suffering.
Being a Christian I see that and that's good. I want to commend you for all the good things happening at this church. Verse four, but this against you, you have left your first love is that just name complements five things I like, but I have one problem and it's a biggie you've left your first love in a minute. You just gave me Jesus Complement you only found one thing wrong. But think about it for a moment you can serve God and not love in first.
You can sacrifice for God and not loving first. You could be steadfast for God and I love at first you could be set related in God's name, and I love it.
You could be suffering in God's name and not love them first watch it you don't love me all he said. You no longer love me first witness of the light and ministering Jesus Christ no longer held the position in their lives and in the life of this church so you can be spiritually busy and Jesus not be happy because you left your first love. Notice who left side left you. He said you left me like a husband and wife. When the car she was it not wonder what he was driving down the window.
She said don't you remember when we were first married we set close to each other.
He said yes I remember and I haven't moved God and say, if we are no longer close. If not, because I have gone anywhere you have left me, you no longer love me first. Right now I look at our audience. Everybody looks close to God close to God because you dress like you close to God, you got a God book and so you really like to close to God, you sign your wave you have had a nap like you just saying he will close to God, we can look likely close to God when there is no life because what religion has the power to do is pacify it when you put a pacifier in a babies mouth. It think it's getting something. It's not getting your tricking the baby to shut it up so you pacify it to keep it quiet until it realizes with all the sucking I'm no better off. You've given me action, but you haven't given me nutrition and what we often deal with religion is give action with no nutrition and so he says you have left your first love. I told you before when I first started traveling and I would come home from a trip, my dear daddy, don't know when the kids wanted conjugal love hug me and kiss me in on all that they were excited to see me.
I would always stop at the airport fly some of the plan to get a little toys bring home 21. They were excited to see me and they got a toy, but what is in love with the toy so they wanted to know when I was leaving again see it was first and they got a toy. It became about the toy no longer matter about me showing up at churches all over want God to give them a toy called a blessing blessed me with this blessed me with that give me this give me that they want God's toy.
When I do. That's why he is often left in the sanctuary when they go to the parking lot because they came for the toy but not for the person who says you have a lot your first love.
You don't love me first love what I can do for you.
You love the blessings that give you the money you want from me the job you want from me, the better lifestyle you want from me you love what I can give you what you don't want me and you don't want me first because you fit me in when you can act on your shoulder going off.
You'll fit me and after you've done what you've done with your friends after you got what you got with your plans and programs.
If you're not too tired before you go to sleep you give me 30 seconds before you know you'll include live somewhere because one thing is for certain, and that is you always have time for what's first so you may run out of time. But you never run out of time for something that's first.
It happens upfront is priority.
Dr. Evans will talk about three specific things we can do to put God back in first place when he continues this message just a moment. Stay with us and some adventure to your family time and impart spiritual truths to your kids with a library of books from Dr. Tony Evans specifically geared toward children written for children of only help you teach your kids for five depend on the Lord spark joy in their hearts for him, all the while enjoying time together as a family. You'll find Scripture to memorize internal problems and practical applications for the whole family can put into practice.
But most importantly you have a way to spend an intentional time with your kids having fun and enjoying each other by learning chemical truth together explore Dr. Evans line kids books today and start them on the path to discovering what it really means to live faithfully for Jesus.
You can find out more about the complete line of kids books it Tony Evans.or. And that's also where you can go to receive a full-length copy of today's message. This sermon is part of the historic four volume collection of messages spending 40 years of ministry here at the urban alternative. It's the Tony Evans top 40 and for a few more days will send you volumes three and four of this powerful said is her way of saying thanks for your investment in us which enables us to continue investing in you that's 20 full-length messages including several we won't be able to present on the year. This time around to get your copy. Just visit Tony Evans.org to make all the arrangements for either the CD set or the digital downloads that's Tony Evans.org or call us at 1-800-800-3222 our resource center is open 24 seven.
Once again, that's 1-800-800-3222. I repeat that information for you after part two of today's message and this would be like to see the very places where Jesus walked to follow in his footsteps along the dusty roads of Israel with Dr. Evans brand-new Phil journey with Jesus. You can find out this feature-length film takes you to the heart of the holy land from Bethlehem to Capernaum from the Sea of Galilee, to the busy streets of Jerusalem.
You'll see the life of Jesus in a fresh way is to hear Dr. Evans and family teach from the very places where Jesus lived minister died and rose again journey with Jesus is set to release this firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and find where you will be showing your you this little word first is a transforming word yet it is simple. It's a simple word and it's a powerful word when you understand the repercussions of it says remember remember from where you have fallen. Remember when you were excited just to know his sins were forgiven when you were excited that eternal life wasn't to you and you have all this stuff you had with me and for me and about me because I was the main thing he says, remember from where you have fallen. Remember that he says repent, repent, says remember from what you've fallen, and repent, repent means to reverse your course to turn around you going down the highway and you discover I'm going the wrong way and you say I'm wrong I'm going south when I will be going north wall wall is not repentance on loan is compassion. Repentance is getting all crossing over going back you've not repented until reversed. Now that one thing you repent of in the Bible and that's so guess what losing your first love is not a bad habit is not even a mistake.
God looks at you and me in spiritual rebellion. When he's not first and that explains everything. So many of God's people living in spiritual rebellion doing some popular since God is no longer, and why does God tell us to repent the holy purpose, God tells us to repent is to restore relationship and limit consequences wants to restore relationship. I'm sorry that's adjusting the schedule that's decided to get up 15 minutes earlier so that I spend time with God will block out some time during the day when I'm alert and awake to get some time with.I am going to prioritize this. I'm going to restructure this now you have repent fairly says and repeat. He says I want you to go back to what you did when it was just me and you. We didn't have all these distractions and all these people in all these issues a lawless agenda in New Orleans scheduled New Orleans business is just me and you and we did find that because it was me and you.
That's why a lot of this other stuff happened not as other stuff Because it was just but now that it's no longer just last and you definitely and where you can.
No wonder you're losing your mind, no wind up not being answered not one that my experience of my presence because is not just me and you.
I'm not first yes you got more work after double responsibility. Yes, you got kids yes you got that what that means it got to position the position as you will discover I can help you handle all the stuff I can help you with the stone. If you keep that something we all those that God will give you what I give you the benefit will give you.
You will have to accept so you have been eating the other.
They don't have an 8 AM.
I got too much of a place I'm too busy I'm too tired I'm too stressed. So Islam is not happening any but he that's the individual that happened here to hear about your physical year he what I'm saying. Everybody hears that he's talk about your spiritual heart that is he that happened here with the Spirit is saying to the church.
I'm talking to the chart but I'm looking for some listening ears in the heart. As you know what got I'm going to reorder my priorities so that you no longer fit in or forced in your first get up a few minutes early if that means carving out a portion of my lunchtime fine, but time limits meaningful. I'm alert and I'm focused on you not to start with an hour you want to start with two hours. You start with five dollars start with five minutes just make it real hard to walk 10 miles until you take the first step to start somewhere, and I guarantee you when you start to feel this thing is going to grow when you start to feel his presence.
When you start to feel his reality went when you know that you not only relate to him but he relate back to do with missing prayers answered power given restoration taking place when you get to see him Wednesday going to extend time. Dr. Evans will come back in a moment to tell us about another promise we can count on when we put God first. But if you'd like to have a copy of today's message to review on your own or pass along to a friend.
It comes as a part of her current featured resource Tony Evans top 40. As I mentioned earlier, all 20 messages in volumes three and four this collection are a gift to you to make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching on the station just drop by Tony Evans.org you can get all the details and make your donation online again.
It's Tony Evans.org or you can call our 24 hour resource Center at 1-800-800-3222 and let one of our team members help with your request. I'll come back with a word about what's coming up next time right after this important question from Dr. Evans if you died right now why would you tell God he should let you inhabit is only one answer that he will accept. That is because your sin that we keep you has already been paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ and you are trusting Jesus Christ for your entrance. Only faith in Christ guarantees you entrance into God's heaven, which are trusting him alone today for salvation. There's more to the story. Dr. Evans would love to share it with you. Just visit Tony Evans.org and follow the link that says Jesus.
He has a short powerful video that explains what real Christianity is about, along with some free follow-up resources. It could be the most important few minutes of your life. There's an old saying that goes, you are what you eat will tomorrow. Dr. Evans will point out that that's also true when it comes to our spiritual diet as he talks about the importance of scriptural nourishment. Right now though he's back with his final word of encouragement for today great verse because John 14 $0.21. The one who loves me. I will disclose myself to him, the one who loves me. I will let him see me and experience me, if he loves me. You want to experience more harvest that out myself.God unveils himself and lets you see you've never seen before.
You've never felt before. Experience things you never experience people because he is on himself and not really not always simple because you will choose first to please me as you keep my commandments you will seek first to please me, because when you have to choose between him and something or someone else. He wins. He said you love and I will unveil myself to that man. That woman that boiled girl so you have a decision to make the carve out some time and say you know what got this thing is real. Better yet, since this thing is real. I'm going to reposition you and look at the difference it makes in my life. I want you to disclose yourself to me unveil yourself to me like I've never seen you before, give me my own private Mount of Transfiguration where you are exposed. The alternative with Dr. Tony Bybee celebrating 40 years of faithfulness, thanks to the generous contributions of listeners like you