Poole Christian Fellowship Mission Statement Part one – “Loving Jesus”
Notes on Sermon preached on 8 January 2017 to Poole Christian Fellowship at Poole High School.
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Over three weeks we will be thinking about how our Mission statement, “Knowing Jesus…and Making Him known” works out in practice. We are going to see that we can pursue our mission to know Jesus an make him known by…
“Loving Jesus…Loving His church..Loving the lost”. These three strands will be the subject of the three talks in this mini-series. We start with…
In his book ”Desiring God…” John Piper’s assertion is that man’s greatest end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever – by which he understands that we are to glorify God by enjoying Him. So, Piper maintains, it is possible for every child of God to be in a relationship with Jesus that is so meaningful that it is the height of human enjoyment and happiness. This view he calls “Christian Hedonism”. Is such a thing possible?
Well the testimony of some of the saints in the Bible seem to affirm this
- Abraham (Genesis 15v1): God said to him “Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, Your very great reward” God promises Abram that it is God himself who is our reward – not the things he may do for us.
- David (Psalm 16v2) I say to the LORD:“You are my Lord;Apart from you I have no good thing” . David is making an extraordinary claim here – that his relationship with God is more precious to him than anything else available to him
- Asaph (Psalm 73 v25) Whom Have I in heaven but you. And earth has nothing I desire besides you” – and here Asaph makes a claim similar to the one that David has made.
- Paul (Philippians 3 v 8) – Finally the great hero of the early church – the apostle Paul – makes a staggering claim about the preciousness of Jesus to him – he is happy to have everything taken away from him, if only he can know Jesus. ”I consider everything a loss compared with the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things”
We have to take these giants of faith seriously. It is possible for us to have the same precious walk with God that they enjoyed.
We turn now to a church that Pau founded, the church in Ephesus. Jesus peaks to the church in Revelation 2:
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right handand walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds,your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
The church is Ephesus is:
- A good church – they have deeds to their credit and they have persevered under pressure.
- A sound church – they have tested false doctrine and kept going
- An active church – they are ding even more than they did at first.
With all this going for it, you would hardly thing there is going to be anything wrong. Yet they are
- A church with a problem. The love, the passion for Jesus has gone out of their church life. They are operating on the basis of duty and experience – not out of a passionate love for Jesus.
All believers are prone to this. If our daily love for Jesus is not topped up, we put ourselves in the same position as the Ephesus. It was a situation so serious that Jesus had to tell them of dire consequences that would follow.
So, what is the solution?:
- Recognise the problem – we can be doing all the right things – but is the love that drives it there
- Take responsibility for the problem – repent means that we accept that there is something about us that needs to change.
- Take time with Jesus – relationship are restored with intentional quality time. If every believer makes it a top priority in 2017 to spend time with Jesus, and we function out of a love relationship with Him – who knows what is possible.
- Ask God to ignite the flame. We can do what we do – but only God can ignite the flame of desire and passion for God.
May that desire to love Jesus, to fall in love with Him all over again, be ignited and prodice fruit in all of us.