Church & Comedy Week 2: Really Reflecting

Sermon Transcript

Well, a big good morning to everybody here, and to also those who watch via the Internet and our mobile app. It's a cool, cool thing. Becky and Juno, our missionaries in the Philippines, they had a thing on Facebook today where they were watching us on the Internet all the way in the Philippines. So I at least got one group in the Philippines watching me. So Becky and Juno, because I know you're going to watch this, love you, guys. Church, let's give them a big hand clap. We love you guys, big time. And if this is your first time here today, or maybe you missed last weekend, a great thing to do is to go onto the web. You can catch our messages there, or you can get our mobile app and you can download that in the app store, whatever platform you use, Android, iPhone, Windows, and just put in Grace Sarasota and we'll come up. And you can catch up and follow along. 

We're in a current series called Church and Comedy, and the idea behind the series was, is we're are a church that wants to reach the un-churched people, and the un-churched, there's a large group of people. It's people that don't go to church, it's people that have never gone to church, it's people that got hurt by church and don't go to church. They want to go to church, but because they got hurt by church, they don't go to church, but they would like to go to church. We want to get them back. There's people that just don't ever go to church and don't know anything about God at all, we want to get them by being intentional neighbors that reflect Christ. 

And in doing that, I thought I would call this Church and Comedy, because at the end of the day, most people, when they're talking about being in church and you ask them to do something for God, the first response is pretty unanimous, "There's no way God could use me. I couldn't do that," which is why I included comedy here, because comedy, in the ancient world, was a form of literature that moved people from low to high. It was the opposite of tragedy, which was from high to low. And so believing that God can use us and do something great and lift us up is the comedic trajectory. And I wanted to get everybody, those who watch via the Internet as well, I wanted everybody to believe, "Hey, God can use you." 

Many people ask me a lot of different things as a pastor. What do you believe on this passage? What do you think about this? How do you interpret this, and so on and so forth? One of the things I don't usually get asked is what makes your heart sing or what would make you really as the pastor feel like you had done a great job. And many people might think a building. People might think more people, or whatever else. Actually none of those things are true. What would make my heart sing more than anything is to know that 75% of Grace Community Church was actively involved in doing something for the Lord in some sort of ministry. And you may say, 75%, well, why not 100. Because I know there's no way in the world, with visitors and stuff, you're ever going to get every single person involved, but I would love to see 75% of Grace Community Church doing something for the Lord. 

And I want to say this. Doing something for the Lord can be greeting somebody at the door. And you may think that's not significant. Can I be honest with you? The person who greets at the door is probably the most important person to a visitor that walks through the doors of Grace Community Church. Seriously. Within the first five minutes, people have made a decision of whether they want to come back or not. And you may be thinking, wow. Yeah, it is a wow. That means that it's important. That means people in the nursery, people doing stuff, these things are important. First Fridays, JDRFs, when we do the book bag stuff and hand the kids that need help, these are all things that we can be involved in. 

And so this series is really about us getting involved and doing something for the Lord. So here's the big idea this morning as we go into week two of this. The big idea is this, the better we understand who Jesus really is, the better we can reflect him. You may go, that sounds sort of self-intuitive, until I do this, and then you're going to go, wow, that's a pretty good point. If you get 10 Christians in a room and you start asking, "What would Jesus do or what would Jesus not do," believe it or not, those 10 Christians will find areas that they think that Jesus would do something different than the other one would do. Or they say, "I can be a Christian and do this," and somebody says, "I can be a Christian and do this." And what you realize is is that we really have a lot of different views on a lot of different things. 

And Jesus, believe it or not, he asked those questions of his disciples. He said, "Who do people say that I am?" And they rattled off some stuff. And then he looked at them and he says, "Who do you say that I am?" And one of the things we find in the Gospels, and if we're going to really figure out who Jesus is and really going to reflect him, the Gospels are a great place to start. In fact, they're the only place to start because they record so much of the life of Jesus that it's important that we understand that. But the question is, and this is the real question, when we go to the Gospels, what are we reading? What are we reading when we read a Gospel? 

You get Christians in a room and somebody will say, "It's a history book. Okay. Other Christians will say, "It's a biography." And all of a sudden, you start hearing all these different things of stuff and somebody who says, "What's a history book?" Somebody comes along who is not a believer and says, "Well, if it's a history book, it's got some issues because there are some things that are recorded -- there's like two angels, there's one angle, there's rooster crows, there's three rooster crows. What are we doing here historically?" And then what people do is they start arguing and defending things and getting all mad about stuff, and you're attacking the Bible. And most of those people are genuinely asking those questions because they go, "Wow, I don't know what you're talking about." Or you get somebody goes, "This is a biography, like they're writing about Abraham Lincoln and whatever." Those are not Gospel. 

And when we go to the Gospels, we got to do what I call genre calibration, and that's figuring out what are we reading. What are we reading when we're reading the Gospels, because if we read the Gospels wrong, we're probably going to get a bad interpretation of who Jesus is, and then that Jesus that we are reflecting might not be anything like the Jesus that is in the Bible. And you know this to be true. If you don't even want to look at it in your own life, you can look at it in religious leaders' lives throughout history. Often times, religious leaders have not always given off the great example of who God is. Even in the New Testament, we have religious leaders that have a little bit of confusion with who God is. So when we go to the Gospels, and we're reading them, we need to understand something. These are theological documents. That's what they are. 

Now, that doesn't mean that they're historically inaccurate, and it doesn't mean that they don't include some things of biography. They have those things. What we're really looking at is though is these are documents that were written by somebody, Matthew or Mark or Luke or John, and they were written, not to you and me, they were written to a group of people at a specific time at a specific place that knew the writer, had relationships. And so when they wrote, those people knew what was going on and the writer knew what was going on. And you and me, unfortunately, we have to go back and look up stuff. 

I always impute... I'm humored when people say, Man I don't need no education to understand the Bible, and at one level that is true. Listen, I totally believe that, but just remember this, if it weren't for the educated and the scholars, you wouldn't even be able to read your Bible because they've translated your Bible out of original languages for you to be able to read. We don't go with our cancer. We don't watch a YouTube video and listen to a CD and assume that we've got the answers, right. So let's think through these things before we just start spewing stuff out in church. The bottom line is they're theological documents and they need to be studied. They need to be understood for what they're saying so that we can get Jesus right. Because if we want to reach the un-churched by being intentional neighbors that reflect Christ, we want to make sure that the Christ that we're reflecting is the real Christ so those un-churched people get all the fullness of everything they're supposed to get, right. Amen. Are you with me this morning? Okay. 

So that being said, what we're going to do here is we're going to look at Matthew. And I don't have time to go through all of this stuff, but Matthew, when he writes, Matthew writes with a specific purpose in mind. And what Matthew wants you and me to know is, is that when Moses said there was going to be a great prophet that came one day that was going to be greater than him and everything, Matthew wants you to know that Jesus is that guy. And so what he does is he takes a lot of Moses' life, and if you go back and study the story of Moses, you remember when he was born, remember Pharaoh was like trying to kill the kids. Remember that story? Trying to get rid of the kids, and we know in Exodus 7:7 that Aaron was three years older than Moses. 

Nobody said anything about Aaron being under that deal where he was going to be killed. He was not part of that. So if he's three years older, you got to figure at least two years and younger could have been, or maybe one year and younger, but the fact of the matter is it definitely wasn't three years and older. So we know it's somewhere in that two years or below. So Moses, here he is, he got a threat of death on his life. We know that Moses goes out of Egypt. He takes the people out of Egypt. He comes out of Egypt. He's called out of Egypt, and he goes through the Red Sea. Remember? You've seen the Charlton Heston stuff, right? Okay. I just want to make sure. And so he takes them through the Red Sea, and then then they go into the wilderness. Remember that part? And then they go to Sinai, Moses goes up on the mountain. Remember that he goes up on the mountain and he gets the law. Remember that story, just real quick segment. 

Well, Matthew starts out his Gospel with Jesus is, all of a sudden, kids two years and younger are being killed by Herod, should make you go that's sort of similar. Then what does Jesus do after that? It says that the Lord says, "Out of Egypt, I have called my son." Whoa. Then Jesus goes what? He goes through the waters of the Jordan, and then what does he do? Well, he goes to the wilderness. And then what does he do? He goes up on the mountain and says, "You've heard it said, but I say to you." See the similarities here? There's a lot of stuff going on here. There's seven mountains in Matthew. Do you know how many times Moses went to the top of Sinai in the Old Testament? Seven times. A lot of things going on here. 

So, when Matthew is writing, he's wanting us to get an idea of who Jesus is, and he's writing a group of Christians that he wants to make sure they know who Jesus is. And so oftentimes, in his Gospel, he's giving us examples of where people start to get a pretty good idea of who Jesus is, and then they sort of mess it up. And then they have to be retold again because they keep messing it up. Anybody ever experience that in your life? You know a little bit of Jesus, oh man I can't believe I did that. Whoa. Right? We all know that. 

So here's the background of what we're going to look at, because we're going to look at this passage in Matthew 17 called The Mount of Transfiguration, and we're going to see how that works, but before we get there, I need a little bit of a background. In Matthew 16, Jesus takes the disciples to Caesarea Philippi, and there he asked the question, "What's everybody say about me?" They're like, "Dude, they think you're the prophet. They think you're that, this, and everybody's telling me." And he says, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter says, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God." And Jesus is like, "Man, that's a good answer." Remember the family feud, good answer, survey says, 100%, not like a budget, 100%, he says, good answer. He doesn't kiss him like Richard Dawson used to, but the bottom line is that he says, "Good answer." 

So Jesus says, "Great. Now that you've got that, let me tell you what I really am going to do. You got it. Let me tell you the real..." So it says, Jesus says, "Here's what's going to happen. I'm going to go to Jerusalem and I'm going to suffer many things, and I'm going to be killed, on the third day I'm going to raise again from the dead." Peter says, "Awesome." It says here, "Peter took him aside and rebuked him." Can you imagine taking Jesus aside like, "Come here, boy. Get on my knee, I'm going to spank you here because you got... you can't do this stuff, man. I mean, Jesus what are you talking about." You see Peter had an idea of what Jesus should look like, and we all do. We all carry those images. And that Jesus, that he just said, "You're the Christ, the son of the living God," when he talked about going and dying, he's like, "Bad answer, man." 

I mean you just got to love Peter. He takes Jesus aside and rebukes him. I mean you would think the last guy I would pull aside and start rebuking is like the dude that's like healing people and walking on the water and calming storms. But no, Peter is a beauty. He's us. I mean how many times have you had that moment where you're like, "Yes!" And then you're like, "Man, I cannot believe I just did that. Man, what is wrong with me." So Peter does this, and then Jesus says, and it's tough, he's like, "You're going to rebuke me, I'm going to rebuke you. Satan get behind me." And then he says again, "Here's the way it works, if you want to follow me, this is where we're going, this is what it's going to look like." Then he takes them up on a mountain because he's trying to get them to see who he really is. 

And then he comes down off the mountain and they blow it again, because they tried to pray for a boy and it doesn't work. And then Jesus once again says, "Let me tell you who I really am." And he goes back to the, "I'm going to Jerusalem and I'm going to die." And so Matthew is trying to help us see how the disciples had a tough time often times getting things right because he wants you and me to get things right. So, let's take the story here in Matthew 17. If you have your Bibles, it's verses one through eight. I'm reading out of the English Standard Version. I tried to put the scriptures everywhere around here, so if you want to just look up here or look on the screens to the side or look here with me, that's fine. If you want to read along in your Bible, that's fine too. I would like for you to be reading along in your Bibles, at least some point, but I try to make it easy for everybody.

So let's look here. "And after six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves." Now, if you remember, if you're following the Moses thing, you should remember, in Exodus 24, that Moses went up on the mountain, and after six days the cloud came over the mountain, and God spoke to Moses and gave him the law. You should know these stories because these are the stories that these Gospel writers assume their readers knew. They're tough for us because we're not steeped in the Old Testament. In fact, most people don't really know the Old Testament very well. 

In fact, did you know this, on SermonCentral, which is an online web resource where pastors can upload sermons for other pastors to look at, did you know what almost 85% to 90% of every sermon preached in America is preached out of the New Testament. So our people don't know the Old Testament very well. And then when you come in here and you go, "Dude, man, where does he get this stuff from," I'm not really doing anything that crazy. It's just we need to understand the Old Testament better. A lot of these stories are based on the Old Testament. 

So after six days, sort of cool too because it's the seventh day, Jesus is like the final rest of God, he's the ultimate Sabbath, sort of cool stuff, but after six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and he led them up to a high mountain. This is a good story. Let's get in here and let's follow along. "And he was transfigured," original language is a metamorphosis. "He was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun," remember Moses's face shone, "And his clothes became white as light." 

So I want you to imagine. They've had this moment where Peter has said, "You're the Christ, the son of the living God," and then he's made the huge blunder of trying to rebuke Jesus, and Jesus once again corrects them. And he says, "Okay, guys, here's what I want you to do. I want you to come up on a mountain, let's go on a mountain." They get up on the mountain, they're hanging out, and all of a sudden, Jesus totally changes in front of them. And I know you just had to be there. 

Imagine, you've seen Jesus, he's wearing his robe and his sandals, and he's got his things going on. You sort of know who he is and you've seen him, and whatever, and all of a sudden now, he's like "Whoa." I mean, man, I mean face shining like the sun and clothes becoming white as light. I mean this is a moment. I mean this is a moment. And I'm sure they're all sitting there going, what is up, what is going on, where is this. And it gets even better because it says, "And behold." And when you read Matthew, if you read "behold," or it says "indeed" in some of them, when you're reading at home, so that nobody things you're weird, but when you're reading at home and you see behold, just go "Behold!" Do that okay, because Matthew is telling you to pay attention right here. "Behold!" Like woo-hoo, get here. So, "Behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him." 

Can you imagine this? Can you imagine you walking up on the mountain, Jesus goes into like this bright shining transfiguration moment that you can't even begin to describe. You're using words like "like," "it was like the sun." It's like whoa. And then Moses and Elijah show up and they're having a conversation. Can you imagine what they were feeling at this moment? They were like, "Dude, Moses? Charlton Heston's up here with us? And Elijah, the prophet, I mean we got the law and the prophets up here." And if you take a moment, this is really cool, remember Moses in the Old Testament? If you don't know the Old Testament, that's fine, you can go back and read this. Some of you remember this. But remember Moses didn't get to go into the Promised Land. Do you remember that? He got to view it from Mount Nebo. Not Nemo, like the fish, Nebo, with a B. He looks out and he sees all the Promised Land, but he doesn't get to go there. So it's like Moses can get you right up to the Promised Land, but he can't get you in. 

But in Jesus, he's in the Promised Land right now. How cool is that? So he's standing there in the Promised Land that he couldn't go in. Now he is because of Jesus. He's there. So Moses and Elijah are there, and they're in there talking. Can you imagine? If you were there and Jesus and Moses and Elijah, I mean, and these are the two men, the only two men in the Bible that went up on mountains and heard from God, now they're on the mountain with Jesus. I mean this is like awesome. Law, prophets, Jesus, it's incredible. Can you imagine? Wouldn't you just be sitting there going, man this is incredible. 

Has anybody ever met anybody when like three people are talking and having a really good conversation, they just can't keep themselves from interrupting the conversation? Anybody ever met anybody like that? Anybody maybe like that? So while you and I are going, who in the world would interrupt this conversation? That would be Peter. So they're talking, having a good conversation. Who knows what they're talking about? Jesus is probably going, "Watch this, Peter is going to come up and make a fool of himself." Who knows what they're doing. So they're sitting there talking, and of course, here comes Peter. Peter says, "Jesus." He interrupts them. They're talking. "Jesus, Lord, it is good that we are here." 

Now, it's not about we, it's not about good, it's about Peter. He says, "It's good that we are here, and if you wish," notice there's no more "we" anymore, "I," see. He interrupts. See, this is about Peter. It's all about him. It's about what he wants and the way he likes it. He says, "Look it's good that we are here." Just walks right into the midst of JC, Charlton Heston, and Elijah. And he says, "Man, it is good that we are all here, but here's the deal, man. If you guys want, I'm going to go and make you three tents here, one for you, Moses, one for Elijah. Because Jesus, what I would like to do here is I would like to camp out right here with you guys because this is... I'm liking this, man." 

I know, a few chapters back, he talked about going into the harvest and getting people, and I know there's people down there that are sick and everything, but what I like is what's going on right now. This is what I like. I want to camp out. Come on now. See, we like to camp out on the Jesus that we like, like to camp out there because it's just about us. It's about Peter here. 

Now, let me tell you something about God, and this is really cool. When you interrupt God, he interrupts you and he wins. He does. Remember, he rebuked Jesus, Jesus rebuked him. He interrupts here, and I love how the Bible says this, he was still speaking when the "behold..." He goes, "Behold, woo-hoo, behold, a bright cloud comes on." Now, if you know the story, six days, on the seventh day, cloud comes over the mountain, God gives the law to Moses, so we're getting ready to get something big time here. I mean this is the download. This is like when the spaceship comes over the mountain and beams down, we're getting the download right now. 

The cloud comes over in the middle of Peter, as he's speaking, and the cloud comes. He's like, "Man, I'd really blundered again." So bright cloud comes, overshadows them, and this is what it says. And a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." Listen to him. I mean Moses and Elijah are there. He says, "Listen to him." Stop it, listen to him. 

Now, if you're new here or you're thinking about church and you go, "Why do you Christians make such a big deal about Jesus?" Because like the cloud and the voice and him, listen to him. "When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and they were terrified." I mean this is like a shocking moment for them. This is really cool. Check this out. "But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear."" Here they are laying like dead, emblematic here of resurrection, get up, rise. Let me pick you up. You don't need to have any fear. And he just...well you just were told, listen to him. If he's picking you up and telling you to have no fear and you've just been told to listen to him, then you should get up and have no fear. 

So in your life, in my life, God wants to raise you up, he wants to lift you up, he wants to lift your head up. He wants to do something great in your life with no fear. Listen to him. And it's even... this is awesome here. "And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only." Moses and Elijah, gone. Law and the prophets, all pointing there, all is gone. Jesus only. Listen to him. Not some teaching or some system or some doctrine or anything, Jesus. Let me say this for you, because it's really important, because Christians a lot of times go to church for a long time and don't get this. Christianity is not based on a belief system or some little note card that you can check off all the things that you want to do or all the things you...Christianity is based on a person. It's based on Jesus, and is Jesus the way, is he the truth, is he the life. They see Jesus only. So great story, awesome story. 

The question is what can we take home, what can we walk out of here with? A couple of things, especially if we're going to be reflecting Jesus. Jesus is God enough to capture our imagination, but he's personal enough to relate and touch our hearts. You see Jesus, he's transfigured, I mean it's like whoa, I mean whoa. And yet he still is personal enough to reach down and touch these people that are on their face, terrified. And we don't do anybody a service at all when we got our own little Jesus that we like. I mean like Peter, no, no, no, you can't go to Jerusalem. That doesn't work, that doesn't fit my box. Or when you get up there and go, I like this, this is the way I want it to be. And let's be honest, we all have those little things about our Christian experience that we want it to be just the way we want it to be. 

Come on now, that's some good preaching. You should be going, yeah that's true, I agree. I do, I get Jesus in my little box, and then what I do is I try to tell everybody to get in my box with me. And the only problem is, is Jesus don't ever fit none of our boxes. He's like hanging out, there's a leg, and try to get that leg in, and then an arm goes out and you're like trying to get that in. He doesn't fit in our boxes because he's God. He's God, and he's greater than all of our imaginations combined. 

And what we want to do is we want to take our imagination and then we want to go tell somebody else that that's the way Jesus is, got to fit just like that, and people are like, "What?" We need to let God be God. A lot of times, you all hear me preach, and I'll get up here and tell you, "This is the way it is, you got to believe this." And a lot of you are all like you're sort of open to a lot of things and whatever. Yeah, because what I've realized in my life, I've held on to just about every position that you could possibly hold on to with white knuckles, and it didn't work. At some point, I had to learn the person I'm going to hold on to is Jesus. 

Remember this, people didn't walk through the crowds going, "Hey, Jesus, could you give me a 10-point lesson real quick on how to do this?" They just wanted to get to Jesus. Is it Jesus that we talk about or is it our ideas of Jesus, our camp outs. He's God enough to capture everybody's imagination wherever they're at, whatever they're doing, but he's also personal enough to touch their hearts. And are we reflecting that in our lives when we go out and do our intentional neighbor things by reflecting Christ? This is important. 

Secondly, and this is huge, Jesus is never distracted by you and I's blunders, ever, not one bit. I'm going to give you the biggest "Get out of jail free" card you've ever had in your entire life, and here's the way it works. In the world, when you and I go to do a job, it's based on how well we can do it. And so when a pastor gets up and says, "Hey, I want to see you do something great for the kingdom of God," we go, "I'm not ready, I'm not qualified, I don't have the ability." This is the biggest "Get out of jail free" card you're ever going to hear. Listen to this. Jesus does not work through you and I's proficiency. He works through our weaknesses, which means every single one of us is a candidate for being used by God right now. 

Here's a complete upside down kingdom. He's not distracted by the blunders. I mean all through the Bible, everybody blunders. I mean Abraham, he says, "Abraham, come on, let's go, man. Leave everybody." And Abraham is like, "Yeah, I think I'll take Lot with me." Usually, when God tells us to go, we take a lot with us too, right. Right? Start going through the Bible. Everyone. God used Rahab, a prostitute, to save some spies. It doesn't say she used to be a prostitute when he used her. She was a prostitute when he used her. She didn't stay a prostitute. She ended up marrying into the righteous line of Salmon. 

But the fact of the matter is we have so many things that we bring to the table as to what God can do and what he can't do, and when you go to the Bible and you read, he's taken Zealots and tax collectors and saying, "All right, boys. Let's go into town." We would never do that, never. You're not ready, you got to have 18 classes and got to have all this stuff and whatever, and God is going, "Man, the way you learn is not by sitting around and getting somebody talking to you. This is the least thing that you'll do in your Christian relationship is listen to me." 

You'll grow when you go out and do something, because what you realize you don't know and then you're going to be, 'God, I got to study scripture,' and all of a sudden now you're reading the Bible. Well, what made you read the Bible? Because you went out there and somebody said, "Hey, can you explain this," and you're like, "What?" So, you go back and you come to somebody, next thing you're learning something. Somebody goes out and you go, "Can you pray for me?" and you're like, "Yeah." And you pray for them and they get worse. That usually happens to me. I don't know why that's the way it is, but it's the deal. And you're like, "God please could you just like give me some gift of healing. It's like one time. Just one time, I want to pray for somebody and see something great happen. I do." 

He's not distracted by our blunders at all. These disciples flubbed up all the time. And you got to love it too, because man, if you were writing this, seriously, if you were writing this, you would never ever, ever write the stuff that these guys did, would you? Can you imagine Peter going, "Dude, Matthew, did you have to record that? I mean, seriously, dude. Could you just not have talked about Jesus' glory on the mountain? Did you have to record that I interrupted our man? Did you have to record that I took him aside and rebuked him? I mean you could just about like I walked on the water, amen. Did you have to record that I was sinking? Did you have to record the rooster? I know the colonel likes the rooster, but I don't like the rooster." 

But see, this is so real because it's you and me. None of us are perfect. This is why you can be used. This is why God can use you now. And thirdly, sometimes we just need to see Jesus only. Sometimes we just have to have a moment where we get all of our baggage and all of our stuff and all the things that we bring to the table, and you hear it all the time, "This is what we need, this is what we need, this is what we need," and that's somebody's deal. But the fact of the matter is, is that may be needed at some point, but it's not the only need. 

The need for the church is Jesus, connecting with him. And so what I would ask you, in a practical way, is in what ways can I really reflect Jesus? I'm going to help you out here. I'm going to help you out practically. I mean I hope you look at that in my marriage, with my kids, all these areas, but I'm going to help you here. And here's how I'm going to help you. I love my kids. And if you have kids, you love your kids. And for those of you all who don't have kids, many of you have dogs or cats, and you love your dogs and cats. I've seen it. I know. 

When somebody does something really nice for one of my kids, like when my kids come home, they tell me that the children's church taught them this or shared something with them, and I go, "Wow, man, that makes me love Maddie or Lynette or Jodie or the Madrids, or whoever is doing the teaching back there." I'm just like, "Man, so thank you for pouring into my kids because my kids, I love them." You do my kids wrong, and as much as I want to be a Christian, and as much as I want to exhibit God, and as much as I tell you that we should love our enemies, I turn into Rambo very quickly. I don't want to be Rambo, I want to be Jesus, but I do, I turn into... So, your kids, they matter to you. 

So here's what I'm going to tell you. In what ways can I really reflect Jesus? I want you to hear this. Every single person, every single politician, every single other religion person, God cares about, which means when you speak bad of them and when you say something bad or you criticize, what does God think about the way you're referring to his people? Which means if we could just reach the un-churched by being intentional neighbors that reflect Christ and genuinely love people, can you imagine how happy we would make our Heavenly Father? See, that changes everything. That's a game changer, because every time you start to say something or post something, you've got something to say, if you said, but man, God loves that person. I need to watch out because if somebody was going after one of my kids, I would be upset. Maybe I need to rethink this here a little bit. 

In what ways can I really reflect Jesus? And what I would say is, we need to go up on that mountain on a regular basis, and we need to get a readjustment. We need to get a calibration to really see Jesus for who he is and what we can do as a church. And the deal is God wants to use you. He wants you to do something great for his kingdom. And no matter what blunders you do or how bad you fell, he can still shine through that as long as you were just trying to work your way towards him. 

Let's pray. Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the wonderful people of Grace. I thank you for those that watch via the Internet. And I just pray, God, that we would all just take one little moment here and reflect for just a second on the fact that you can use us. And we just genuinely want to reflect you in being used, and the start is starting to see everybody as someone that you love. And maybe we can treat them with dignity and respect, no matter what they've done to us, because we know that we would want that for our children. I'm sure, God, you want that for yours. 

So Lord, I pray that as we leave here today that you speak to us. I pray that you would minister to us. I pray that you would talk to us this week about ways that we can truly reflect you in our lives, and we thank you for it. So Lord, I pray that as we leave you'd watch over us and protect us, lead and guide us. I pray that you would help us to continue to be that light that you have created us to be, shining brightly in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and brighten it for your glory. Bring us back safely till we meet again, in Jesus' name, and everybody said amen. 

God bless everybody. Have a fantastic day.

Chris PedroComment