Authentic and Sacrifical Leaders
By Bobby Blakey on September 28, 2014
1 Thessalonians 1:6-7
Authentic and Sacrifical Leaders
By Bobby Blakey on September 28, 2014
1 Thessalonians 1:6-7
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:00] All right. Well, grab a seat, everyone, and grab your Bible. Who's going to want these? Let me see him here this morning. Anybody got one? All right, let's open up back to the book of 1 Thessalonians. That's what we're studying through 1 Thessalonians 1.
[00:00:15] It is great to see you guys here today. We can start talking about our church not in a series of weeks, but today we will finish our first month of services. Everyone. That's right. Four weeks in. And it's great to see someone. You guys are coming back every week. It's so encouraging to see you. How we're doing services. You're hearing sermons. But what I want to talk about today is what happens behind the service, what happens behind the sermon? I mean, you don't just want me come in here and preach in a sermon and then go on and doing whatever something different the rest of the week. Right. You don't want somebody speaking to you. That's a hypocrite, do you? I mean, I know that's happening. Unfortunately, in some places where we polish and we impress people with something on the outside, some kind of package that we can present. But if you could see what's going on on the inside, well, it's a whole different story. See, you don't want me to just preach the sermon as your pastor. You want me to be that kind of person is what you would want. See, you don't even want me to practice what I preach. You want me to preach what I already practice. Can I get the Amen from anybody on that? That's the kind of thing we're looking for. Authenticity is the word that we're going to use to describe something that's genuine gay. In fact, if you've got I know I already had you grab your Bible, but if you've got your bulletin and you can just pull that out real quick, maybe you're taking out the hand out for some notes. But on the back of your bulletin, you can see we've got eight distinctives here at Compass Bible Church. And today we're gonna get right into a text that's going to lead us to one of these eight distinctives. Ryan was already talking about. Number three, we seek to maintain a high view of God here at our church. But look down at number seven. Here's something that we want to be distinct about our churches as we will look to authentic and sacrificial leaders. Now we've got to talk about what does that mean to be authentic? What is authenticity these days? Because I'll add a lot of churches or with a lot of people, if I wanted to be authentic to the Huntington Beach crowd, then maybe I would get a sleeve of tattoos and that would somehow make me authentic with the Huntington Beach crowd. And some of you guys can say amen to that right now. Right. But if I wanted to be authentic with the church crowd, maybe I would get a sleeve, a long sleeve and a suit and a tie. And some people here would say amen to that. Oh, I would like that. When we do that outside. That'll be nice, right?
[00:02:41] I mean, you see, that's what we think ought to authenticity is it's some kind of relating to people when we use the word authenticity here at CompassHB Bible Church, here's what we mean. Somebody who actually lives out the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's what we mean. Somebody who's the real deal, genuine Christian person. They've been saved. And you can tell because the direction that their life is head is now is Jesus Christ. That's what we're looking for, somebody who preaches something that comes out of the overflow of their life. Whether it's me preaching up here or you go to a small group at somebodies house and they're talking to you. We want people whose are walking, what they are talking. And that's what we're gonna see here in First Thessalonians, chapter one. Let's start again in verse five where we left off last week. Look at it with me here. It says, Because our gospel came to you not only in word, but no, it was also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. It was God speaking through us. And then it says this, you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction with the joy of the Holy Spirit so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and DKA. Now you'll notice there's a we hear there's an R that goes all the way up. Back up to chapter one, verse one. If you see it, Paul, we think of him as the primary writer of this epistle, but he also has his his Conrads for Christ here, Silvana's Silas's we refer to him and Timothee. There are multiple guys that came and started this church and he's saying, you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. So we didn't just come and say a bunch of things. We proved it by the way that we lived. We we backed it up with the way that we walked. In fact, you guys saw us and you thought it was the way that you should live. Or six, you became imitators of us and of the Lord. And in verse seven says, actually, as you were imitating us, you became an example. Those are the two key words we want to talk about here this morning. Everybody here, we need to have somebody that we are. Imitating That's somebody that's a little bit ahead of us in following Jesus Christ. We're trying to follow their example. And then somebody that behind us that is now looking to us as an example. Paul, Silas and Timothy, they come in and everybody sees. They prove themselves, by the way that they live. And they say, we want to be like these guys and they start to imitate them. And Paul pays them a great compliment here when he says, actually, you imitated us and now you're the example. Now you're a type of Christian person. That's what that word example means in the Greek. It means you're a type. That's what the word we get to pass. We get type from it. You're the type of Christian that now other people can look to. And if they followed you, they'd be following Jesus Christ.
[00:05:41] That's the kind of person that you are. So authenticity here is so important. And I hope everybody's with me on that. I don't want this to be fake. I didn't come here to say fake things to you. I don't want you to put on a fake front here to me. I want us to get real. And we're either really live in for Jesus Christ or we're not that that's how it is. Go to Second Thessalonians, Chapter three. Look over it. You mentioned this again in Second Thessalonians. Paul had no problem referring to himself as an example.
[00:06:12] And here he's going to talk about how some people are being idle. They're not doing work. And. And he says this. Start with me in verse seven, Second Thessalonians, chapter three. Start with me. In verse seven, he refers to the same idea of example, an imitation for you yourselves. Know how you ought to imitate us because we were happy. We're not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it. But with toil and labor, we worked night and day that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have the right but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate the word there. Imitate means to mimic everybody here. We need a type of person that we can mimic, someone whose example that we can follow. Point number one, if you're taking notes, let's write this down. You need to find a leader that you can follow.
[00:07:10] Everybody here needs somebody that you can mimic, tests that you can mimic, that you can imitate, that you can hold up and say that's the person there ahead of me. They're blazed the trail. That's the kind of person I want to follow as I follow Jesus Christ. And let's just get real personal here today, because when I say find a leader, you can follow. I would like to candidate for being that person in your life. All right. That's basically what we're doing. Let's get real here. People are showing up at our church. And so of you guys, you're even wondering, well, let's see how this service goes today and then we'll decide if we're gonna keep up coming back here or not. I mean, that's where we're at in the life of our church. So so I want to tell you that I am willing to be an example here as the pastor of this church. That is something that I take very seriously. All right. Go with me to First Timothy chapter. Chapter four.
[00:08:06] And I'm a I'm clearly a young man here. And it's interesting that we have three pastoral epistles in the New Testament three times where Paul writes letters telling a man how to be a pastor. And he writes them to young men, actually. I mean, the guys that we get examples of what it's like to be a pastor. These guys, Timothy, in first and second, Timothy and then Titus in that book, the book we call the pastoral epistles. These guys are young guys. And he he he said it wasn't really about the age of somebody, whether they could be an example or not. He put it like this. Maybe you've heard this verse before. It's often used in youth ministries to make the young people not not, not. It says don't look down on the youth and we use it for young people. But really, it's for young pastors like myself. First Timothy chapter for Luke of her SWO says, Let no one despise you for your youth. Let no one look down on you for your youth. But set the believers an example even as a young man, be someone that people can imitate. And then it gives different categories here that we need to be exemplary. That I should be exemplary. It says in speech and conduct. In love, in faith. In purity.
[00:09:20] And so the charge here is Timothy definitely was was younger, and if you're wondering, I'm 34 years old, if you're wondering right now. OK. So that's how old I am. I think Timothy was probably around that same age in his 30s, which would have been considered then as it is now. A young man says, here's the secret, Timothy. They're gonna look down on you unless you give them an example to look up to. And so make sure you're doing that. And he gives these different categories here. And then he says you're going to have to continue in this. Look at skip on down a verse 16. Here's the kind of pastor that we that we should all aspire to have. That I need to be or we need to get somebody who's like this. Look at first Timothy, chapter four, verse 16 says keep a close watch on yourself to the pastor and on the teaching. Persist in this. Continue in this. For by so doing, you will save both yourself and your hearers. Says it's not about whether I can just come and preach a sermon so you can decide whether you think I can preach. That's something you're deciding as you hear the sermons. But it's not just about it doesn't say just watch your doctrine. It says you got to also watch your life. That means we're gonna have to get to know each other personally. I mean, this is going to have to go beyond the show and the flash of, hey, how you doing on Sunday morning? And then we don't really check in the rest of the week. We're going to have to have a relationship here.
[00:10:46] So one of the things that people say about being a pastor and they say this to my wife and they may even say stuff like this to our kids is they say, well, are you sure you want to do that? Because once you sign up to be a pastor, you're living in a fishbowl. That's what they say. Anybody ever heard that phrase before? The idea is you're living in this glass house. Everybody's looking in at your life. There's nothing private about it. It's a very public exposed kind of life. And just if we could get personal here, that that's how I grew up. I grew up as a pastor's son when I grew up. My dad, he was he was in the banking business. He was a manager of a bank into me as a little boy. That made a lot of sense. Dad makes money by going and counting money all day. I was tracking with that. And then Dad came home and he sat our family down. I got two younger brothers and my mom and he sat us down and he said he was going to stop working at the bank and he was going to go to seminary and he was going to go and he was going to be a pastor. And our families started moving actually in dad's journey of finding a church to pastor, we would move to several different places. In the first place we moved was to seminary, and it was where he was going to go to this seminary and get this master's degree in preaching the word of God. And so I started to become friends with my dad's friends, kids and all the guys he was hanging out were guys who were all training to be pastors. And I was going over to their houses and hanging out with their kids. And I just got this idea in my mind that cool guys become pastors. That's what dads do and that's what these other guys are doing. That must be the cool thing to do right now, because because though I was a stubborn son, to some degree, I decided I wasn't going to be a pastor. Right. And in fact, if you had asked any one of the three Blakey brothers growing up if we would grow up and do what Dad was doing, we would say, no, I don't think so.
[00:12:37] I don't think we're gonna do it. I mean, Dad, he does a lot of hard work and all he gets from people is a lot of grief. One of the famous stories at the Blakey house is when our church was going through a church split. And really a lot of it was about an attack on my dad personally. My youngest brother said to him one day after they had gone golfing, Dad, you have such a great job where we can just, you know, kind of take easy hours and go golfing. This is as my dad's heart is being broken by his church split say he says that it's a famous story we'd like to bring up because the truth is, all three of us became pastors when we grew up. That's what happened. Now, I did. I wanted to be like a writer. That's what I wanted to do. Another brother, he wanted to play in the NBA. And another brother, he was going to be the president of the United States. That's how we were. That's. That was the talk for years at our house. And you laugh at him being the president. But the truth is, you would have voted for him actually as the truth. But yeah. So all of us, none of us ever. Dad never said you guys should be pastors. None of us ever said we wanted to be pastors.
[00:13:43] Three, four, three at the Blakey house.
[00:13:45] Everybody's out there today somewhere preaching the word of God. And here's why.
[00:13:50] Because we grew up in the fishbowl and I kind of realized I liked growing up in the fishbowl because that's where the fish were.
[00:13:59] And that's where I wanted to be.
[00:14:01] I didn't want to be on the outside looking in at people's lives. I wanted to get involved in people's lives.
[00:14:08] So I was going to be a newspaper reporter. I was actually going to write for the Orange County Register. I had the open door. I had a contact. I was shadowing this guy right down at the at the building there that you see off the freeway in Santa Anna. I was in that building.
[00:14:22] I was following this guy. I was going to work at this place, baby, run, run one of the local papers to get started.
[00:14:28] And I started following this guy around and I started realizing this guy's a pretty shady guy. And one day, all he did for work was call people who might have known a child molester and see if they had any dirt on the guy.
[00:14:43] And I thought, I don't want to do this.
[00:14:45] I don't want to go out and report the bad news. I want to get out there and preach the good news. I want to make news for Jesus Christ. I want to see people's lives get changed, not destroyed by sin. And that's when I decided I'm going all in to full time ministry. And my I knew from that moment and my wife knew when we got married. And our kids know as we've moved up here to plant this church. We live in a fishbowl at our house. In fact, we'd like to have you over to our house. We picked the house. That's easy to see inside of. That was our strategy. Say we want you to come. We want you to see there's nothing hidden up our sleeve. There's nothing hidden in the closet. This is who I am. This is who we are. We're here for one purpose. We didn't move up here to make our life easier. We didn't move up here to get rich. We moved up here for one reason, and that's you. And we want to show it to you. Now, I'm in the process of proving myself. I haven't proven anything. I've been playing. I'm a rookie right now. All right. This is my rookie season here with you guys. I've been playing triple A ball of enthrone pitches for the triple A.. And I just got called up to the majors and who knows? You know, I might throw I might throw some bad games here. And you can you can tell me when I did. All right. But I'm here and I'm ready to go. And I want to say, hey, I want to be an example of somebody who is all about the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, somebody who's living out the gospel and what it means. And you can see my job description if you want to know if I'm doing my job or not. Sure. Want me to. Over to chapter three. We're in first Timothy here. Right. Look at first, Timothy, Chapter three, because it's very clear everybody knows what I'm supposed to be doing or or better even said with the kind of person that I'm supposed to be, because it's not really about doing something if you're going to be a pastor or if you're going to minister to anybody and be an example for Christ. It's not about what you do. It's about who you are as a person. And that's what you see here. Let's look at the qualifications for overseers or elders or pastors. This guy who's going to be a leader of the church. First, Timothy, chapter three, look at verse one with me says the saying is trustworthy. If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Well, that's a good thing that you want to do. If you want to be a pastor. But here's what she got to be like. Verse two. Therefore, an overseer, he must be above reproach. The husband of one wife, sober minded, self controlled, respectable, hospitable, a level or a lover of strangers able to teach. Here's some things he can't be not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. In fact, he must manage his own household well. He must be proven it with his kids with all dignity, keeping his children submissive. For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the content condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, non Christians in the community so that he may not fall into disgrace into a snare of the devil. So that's a standard. And I invite every single person here, especially if this is gonna be your church, if I'm going to be your pastor. You hold me to this standard right here. You ever see me doing less than this? Ever see me being less than this? I invite you to come and call me out and talk to me. And I take this very seriously when it says above reproach. I think that means exactly what it says, that no one could come and offer a reproach, make an accusation. There is nothing secret about me that someone could accuse me of. And I would be guilty of. I'm blameless. Is the idea here? That's the standard when it says a husband of one wife. If you look at that in the Greek, I think you could literally translate it. A one woman, kind of a man. I don't think that saying a pastor has to be married, but he's the kind of man who, if he was married and I am, would love one woman and would be faithful and true to her and would understand her and would give sacrificially for her. He's got to be proving it with his children.
[00:18:58] He's got to be able to teach. This is a high standard here.
[00:19:01] And that's the standard that if we're gonna do this and I'm going to be some kind of mimic tests, some kind of person that you could imitate the work that I'm doing for the Lord, then I have to be living like this. And if you don't think I'm living for this, then let me encourage you.
[00:19:13] Don't come to this church.
[00:19:15] But you've got to find somebody who is living this out that you're following everybody here. You need to have someone. If someone came up to you on the street and they asked you, who's your pastor, who oversees your soul? Who are you trying to be like? Every Christian person has to have an answer to that question. There's no FreeAgent Christians. We all have somebody that we're following the example of. We all need somebody like that. Now, I've got guys I've got men that I'm following the example of. I've got this guy name, Pastor Mike for Baras is the pastor of our church in an alley Soviet. So there's a guy down there named Pastor Beat Desertion Goffe. There's another friend of mine, Pastor Luke Espace. These guys are on our Compass Bible Church, Huntington Beach Board of Directors. So I've got guys that I am following their example. I am that my life is an open book to them. They they tell me things about my life. I have people that I'm trying to imitate and I'm encouraging everybody here. You need to have somebody that you can imitate. And on some level, as the pastor, as the teacher, I need to be that person. And I'm hoping that we can establish that kind of relationship. And I'd like to have you over to my house. I'd like to hang out with you at the church office. I'll come over to your house if you will have me. We will go out to in and out burger together. I want to get to know you to some degree. And I want you to think there are things I can learn from this guy. There are ways that he's an example to me. That's how this relationship is supposed to work. But obviously, even with this group that we've got here, look around. We've got a group of people, a growing congregation here that we've got. I'm not going to be able to meet with everybody here on the daily, weekly basis that everybody here is going to need to really be encouraged and strengthened in the Lord Jesus Christ. So in some ways, I'll be the voice. I'll be the guy up front when we gather here together on Sunday mornings. But really, we're going to need to get more personal that then I can get with everybody here. And especially there's no way that I can be an example of what it's like to be a wife or what it's like to be a mother. I have no experience in those issues. Okay, so everybody here, you're going to need to find somebody who you can walk more closely with. Maybe it could be me for some people here, but it can't be me for everybody here. So we're going to need more than one example here at this church. We're going to need a lot of people that you can imitate. And what the Bible does is says pastor overseer elder. That's the guy who can teach the word. But then there should be a bunch of people who are doing the ministry who are serving. And it calls these people deacons is the biblical word for it. And that's just a word. That means servant. It means minister. Somebody who's got an official role of service in the church. And actually, it talks about these people in the very next verse. You're still there in First Timothy Chapter three, it read my job description. Now, basically, let's move on to your job description if you want to be one of these examples in the church. And we've got some of them here this morning and hopefully some of you will become this kind of person as we continue. Look at what it says here. And first, Timothy, chapter three, verse eight. It says Deacons. Likewise. See, there's they're very similar, actually, to the pastor. They must be dignified, not double tongue. See, that's not what we want. Not saying one thing on some Sunday morning and something else when they go home, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a here's the key part of what we're talking about. Authenticity, a clear conscience. You could write down Second Corinthians, Chapter one versus ten to twelve as it talked. If you want a passage on a clear conscience, someone who isn't guilty. They can't think of anything that they know that they're doing. That's wrong. Their conscience is clear. Verse 10. And let them also be tested first. Then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless, their wives. Now, I don't think it's talking about to the ladies, Mary, to the men who are deacons. I'm saying I think it's talking now about their female counterparts or as we maybe you've heard before, a deaconess, a female servant or minister official person doing the work of the gospel in the church. They're their wives. Likewise, must be dignified, not slanderers. Not talking bad about people cutting people down with their words, but sober minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, a one woman kind of man managing their children in their own households. Well, for those who serve well as deacons, while they gain a good standing for themselves and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus why you would want to do this job? You'd want to be one of these guys because you have confidence in where you stand with Jesus Christ and you will receive a reward from him if you're an official servant, a deacon. Now, if you read that along with me and you were looking at it, that sounded very similar to the qualifications for a pastor. Did it not? I mean, not really the only difference. I mean, I noticed there was a little bit shorter and I noticed he didn't say able to teach, but a. About being above reproach, said that about being a one woman, kind of a man said that how you manage your kids.
[00:24:23] It was talking about that.
[00:24:25] Here's a universal standard, not just for a pastor. There's a kind of person that God is looking for in the church. This person who is living out the gospel, the authentic Christian person. And so when I heard that I was going to plant to church, I immediately knew I needed a crew of Deacon kind of people.
[00:24:44] And so I went around and I started talking to some people and some people. They came to me and they said, we're ready to go with you. And some people I went to and I said, hey, I will I would like you to come with me. And God put together a team right from the beginning of the planting of this church. And as he would have it, if you're into biblical numerology here, he gave us 12 couples to help us plant this church guy, if you like, the twelve tribes of Israel or the Twelve Disciples. Well, there are twelve couples here at CompassHB Bible Church, Huntington Beach. And these people, as far as I can tell, and I've lived life with them. I've tried to hang out with them as much as I can. They've come over to my house. I've tried to go to their house.
[00:25:20] I mean, we know each other. Me and these people, they are they are examples of what we just read. If you mimicked their life, you would be moving closer to Jesus Christ. I'm going to embarrass them right now. But I'm actually going to ask if you're a deacon or a deacon. S here at Compass Bible Church, where you just stand up right now. These are the people that we're going to hold up here at this church as examples so you can clap for them if you want to. You can encourage them because it's a noble task. They're gone for good. Go ahead and have a seat. You guys, thank you very much. But, Betsy, there's a group of people here. And with that, they're the people that are running home fellowship groups. Nobody is leading a home fellowship group at our church that hasn't passed this test of being a deacon. And that's something I'm hoping away, that our church is going to grow. I'm already getting to know some of you guys and already identifying people who might join this number of deacons. You want to have a vision for our church? A big strategic plan for our church. We got 12 couples right now that are deking couples at our church. My goal is to get 72 of those couples. That's my personal goal that my wife and I, we want to invest in those people. We want to invest in everybody here, but we want those people to be an extension of this example that we're trying to set so that everybody here can personally have an example. Right. And really, the verse you could write down about being an example is this first Corinthians 11 one. In fact, let's turn there, because this is really what it comes down to. It says this in our passage that you would follow our example and of the Lord. That's what I mean by somebody who's an example, is someone that you're going to follow as they follow Jesus Christ. That's what First Corinthians, chapter 11, verse one. Just this quick verse here. But that Paul says this is why I'm saying you should be imitators of these people, be imitators of me. Paul says, as I am of Christ, hopefully that's why you're here. And if it's not here, hopefully we can get you signed up that you want to follow Jesus Christ. That's why you're here. Okay. Jesus Christ. He went around to his twelve disciples and he got out his pointy finger and he stuck it in their chest and he said, You follow me and I will make you fishers of men. He walked up to tax collectors. He walked up the fisherman. He walked up to people that the society had written off. And he said, You follow me.
[00:27:45] And so hopefully you can find someone who is following Jesus Christ and maybe they're just a few years ahead of you. There are a few steps ahead of you. They've been doing it a little longer than you have. They know a little bit more about the Bible and how to live for Jesus Christ than you do. And you are following Jesus Christ. And what the idea is here in the scripture is you have somebody else that's guiding you towards Jesus Christ.
[00:28:08] I'm not by any stretch of the imagination implying to you that I'm some kind of perfect person who has it all together or that any of these people who stood up here today are some kind of, you know, 100 percent sanctified individuals. That is not what I'm saying at all. What I am saying is I believe that these people have a real relationship with Jesus Christ and they are striving after him every day. And if you start running with these guys, you're gonna be running with the runners and you're gonna end up following Jesus Christ as well. That's what I'm saying, that we wake up in the morning and we want to do one thing. We want to seek Jesus Christ first. And actually nothing is second place because it's just about Jesus for us and everything that we do. And we're running for it. And we're inviting everybody here run with us. And if you're not quite sure how to run for Jesus, we're gonna put examples, not just examples from the Bible in his perfect life that's held for us in the Gospels. We're going to put examples that you can see that you could touch, that you can hear the people that you can get to know that look just like you. But maybe they're a few steps ahead of you and you can follow their steps.
[00:29:18] And this is not going to be easy.
[00:29:20] Because if Jesus Christ said, do you follow me? And then he let the example for you. Where did Jesus Christ end up?
[00:29:29] He ended up on a cross is where he ended up saying.
[00:29:32] And in fact, turn over to Luke, Chapter nine. If we're going to talk about following Jesus Christ, then we got to go to Luke Chapter nine. And we got to make sure we understand what an authentic Christian person is, because there's a lot of fake Christianity, a lot of pseudo Christianity going on at churches like this one all over America. And we got to make sure we're talking about the real thing. And here's what Jesus said. He had lots of people who came to hear him preach. Lots of people who came to see his miracles. But he said it like this in Luke, chapter nine, verse 23. The bigger the crowd got, the more straightforward Jesus got. And he said to all, if anyone would come after me, you want to follow me? Where here's what it looks like. Let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. That's the commitment that we've got to have here. If we're going to be about following Jesus Christ is we have to have this all in kind of commitment where we are ready to give our very lives away, not even just to die in the end, but to actually offer ourselves as a sacrifice before God.
[00:30:43] And to say this life is no longer going to be about me, but all about Jesus Christ. That's the example that we can hold up in front of you. That's what we've got. We're not perfect people. We all got our strengths. We've all got our weaknesses. But what I hope that we're all united in is we're ready to deny ourselves. And we're ready to take up our cross and we're ready to follow him. And if you if that's what you're about, I think you are in the right place here this morning because we want to train a whole group of people to follow Jesus Christ.
[00:31:11] And the hope is that U2 will be an example, that everyone here would be a type of Christian person that others could follow. Go back to our texta. First Thessalonians, we all need someone that we can imitate. But then it says that we want to be a type. We want to be this kind of person. Go back to First Thessalonians and we'll see a couple of more and things, couple more details about this example that we want to set versus lenience, chapter one. Now, first of all, gets more specific here in verse six. It says, And you became imitators of us and of the Lord. What did that look like? Well, here's the specific thing that he says for you receive the word in much affliction with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
[00:32:01] So here's what was exemplary. Says you guys ended up becoming examples, but here's what was exemplary about them. Something specific that you receive the word. You welcomed the teaching, but not when it was easy. Not when it was popular. No.
[00:32:14] In affliction, when there was pressure, it says when there was stress, you still have this joy of the Holy Spirit. You had this spiritual life even when the externals were working against you.
[00:32:27] You still were moving forward for the Lord. So that's the kind of group that even when they had the bearer cross, they had to say no to themselves and they were suffering. It was hard. There was blood. There was sweat. There was tears. They stuck with it and kept following Jesus Christ. And he says in that regard, this church was an example because we got so many people who say, oh, yeah, I want to follow Jesus. And then does their life actually change?
[00:32:55] Do they actually take up across? You know, it's a it's a mere profession. It's words, but it's not the practice now of how they live.
[00:33:05] I mean, that's the biggest problem that we've got in American Christianity, is we've got so many people who are Christians by name only and not by how they live their life and who they are. And these guys, they weren't that soil that that kind of sprouted up and looked good in the beginning, but it was that rocky soil. And when it got hard. This is Luke eight 13. If you want to write that down. They were not that kind of soil that when the trials came and the afflictions came and they backed away. Luke, a 13 that had describes that rocky soil, which started out so good, but it couldn't stand the test, the pressure, the stress, the trials of life. They got to make sure that we can stand through those trials. And here's what's amazing. It's actually by going through the trials of life where you become an example to other people. That's actually how it works. Says you had a hard time. And there's a lot we could say about the hard time that the Thessalonians had. We're gonna save the specific details of that for a later passage. As we move through this letter, we're gonna get into the persecution they were experiencing from the Jews. It was intense. There was a lot it was very hard to be a Christian in Thessalonica. It was in this easy experience, but they were 100 percent committed and they stuck with it under pressure. And because of that, they were now an example to all these other people claiming, Christ, they'll look at these guys, they're really living it out. Their authentic. Follow their example. Walk in their steps. Say so. Even if you're a new Christian, if you're ready to stick with it when it gets hard, that's how you become an example to other people. So point number two, we want to put it down like this. You need to consider those who come behind you, because not only do you need somebody in front of you that you can follow the way this whole process is supposed to work. Is there supposed to be people now following you? Jesus says follow me. And then he says, and I will make you what? Fishers of men also who's living in the fishbowl now say everybody's supposed to be living in the fishbowl. Nobody here is supposed to have a private life that other people don't know about. When you sign up for Jesus Christ, you declare that your life is an open book ready to be read by anyone because you want to show an authentic Christian life. The best Bible that some people are going to read is meeting you. Right. The only Jesus that people are going to see walking around the streets of Huntington Beach are the Jesus people, authentic Christians living for him. That needs to be us. We need to be those those people. And so we need to have a whole church that's full of examples of types of Christ that the world could look at and they could say, well, I don't like religion and I don't know about the church, this institution, but I know so and so.
[00:35:53] And they're a real person. I bet they know God. So you want to be that person there, are you?
[00:36:00] I mean, if if if we were gonna use the analogy of the gospel coming down the street and the gospels just comin down and people are getting saved, man, are you a cul de sac? Is the gospel ending with you or are you an intersection? Are you passing the gospel on to somebody else? I mean, the gospel is the freight train moving through history? I mean, it's a car cruising down the road. It's not stopping. And the air in is a cul de sac. Are you just kind of like, well, I'm just a good buy myself. I'm saved and I'm fine and I'm going to heaven or no. Is the gospel now coursing through you to somebody else, say. That's the question for everybody here. Go to second Timothy, chapter two and you'll see how this is supposed to work, that the church is really a spiritual network of relationships where people who know the gospel pass it on to others, who then pass it on to others, who then pass it on to others. That's called discipleship, see, and that's what my dad did with his three brothers. And he never had to tell us to become pastors because we saw what it looked like in his life. See, I can remember a conversation when I was a young boy my dad had with one of his friends. And this was one of the guys that I thought was the cool guys. I thought this guy was going to maybe become a pastor. He was one of those examples to me as a young boy. And I overheard a conversation that this guy had with my dad one day and he said, well, what is really a Christian, Bruce? And and whenever you're a kid and you hear your parents first name, that always gets your attention. You know, my dad's name is Bruce. And I was like, oh, this is serious. He just dropped. Bruce, what's going on?
[00:37:32] And my dad said to him, well, let me tell you what it means to be a Christian.
[00:37:37] It means you wake up every day and you deny yourself and you take up your cross and you follow Jesus Christ.
[00:37:43] And the guy who at that time maybe I even thought was cooler than my dad right at that time, the guy said, Yeah, Bruce, but who does that?
[00:37:54] And I was like. That's not right. Why are you saying that my dad does that? That's what I thought to myself.
[00:38:04] Say I'm the product of having an example. What my dad learned was pass to me, which I hope to pass to more people, which I hope those people will then pass on to others. That's Christianity. It's a network of relationships. You see that clearly. And second, Timothy, chapter two, verse two. Here's Paul writing to his disciple. He calls him his son in the Lord. Second Timothy, chapter two. Verse one. You then my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Be strong, young man in Jesus Christ. And what you have heard from me. Take what you learned from me. And the presence of many witnesses. And now, Timothy, pass those things on in trust them to faithful men who will be able to teach others. Also, you could write down next to that. For generations. That's what we've got right there in that one verse. We've got Paul, who's now showing the authentic Christian life to Timothy, who's now supposed to find faithful people and pass it on to them, who are going to be able to teach others also. That's how it's supposed to work. No one's the dead end where it's like, well, I'm just glad I got saved and now I'm going to heaven. So praise the Lord for that. No. When you get to heaven, if you're saved. The question is going to be to you. What disciples did you make? Who did you pass it on to?
[00:39:21] Whatever you received, you turn around and you give.
[00:39:26] I'm talking to people today who have never, ever thought of yourself as being the leader. The example, the small group leader. And I want to encourage you to be a part of this church. And we will equip you. We will train you. I would like to see every single person here who's a Christian adult end up saying, I want to be an example. I want to be a type of Christ that other people can follow. That should be the goal. Everybody here should want to be a deacon. Maybe maybe some of you guys will end up being pastors if you have to give to teach. But everybody should want to be a deacon and obtain that good standing before the Lord and be recognized as an example to other people.
[00:40:04] The people in your life. Your spouse. Your children. Your friends. That you've made it work. Your friends that they've made at church. Are you a type of Christ to these people? That's the question. And that's got to be the goal for everybody here that I want people to see that I'm following Jesus.
[00:40:26] So if they followed me, if I mean, this is the question of the morning, if somebody followed you, would they end up moving closer to Jesus Christ?
[00:40:34] Or would they be moving away from Jesus Christ? That's something we've all got to deal with.
[00:40:40] And the amazing thing here about the Thessalonians is he says the whole church was an example turn within the Second Corinthians, chapter one. And now maybe when when we hear example or we think about people being examples in church, I'm just afraid that we have experienced so much fake church that it messes with our thinking and what we think is.
[00:41:02] Okay, well, to host a small group, you know. I don't know if I would have want to host a small group because I don't know if my house is the right shape or size or I don't know if I could keep my house clean enough to host a small group or I don't know if I cook well enough to host a small group. And I can't afford to buy food for these people every week. And we all know how those Christians eat because there's no fellowship without food. So how am I going to do this? Say, I mean, like, seriously, when you say, hey, what do you think about hosting a small group? People naturally think of the external things of like, well, what night of the week would it be on and what time would they come over and how long would it? How many nights of the week am I committing to that? I'm not talking about the scripted moments. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about when I've had a week to prepare and now I come and present to you or when you've had days to think about this small group that you're now going to. I'm talking about in the raw moments of life where people get to see the real you.
[00:42:01] I'm talking about when you're at the grocery store and your kid doesn't want to do what you say. That's it. That didn't get real enough for anybody right there.
[00:42:09] OK, OK.
[00:42:11] I'm talking about when you and your spouse are, shall we say, not exactly getting along and you realize the windows of your house are wide open and the neighbors are hearing what you're talking about.
[00:42:23] Do we think example means that person can put it together? No, usually the put together people are the fake people say we want authentic people. Like if you went to if somebody came to your house on your worst day.
[00:42:36] Are you an example of Jesus Christ? That's what it's talking about here. I talked about this polished, put together image, Sacket, about who you really are, just the person that you are.
[00:42:49] And you see that clearly here in Second Corinthians, chapter one, look at how it says we're gonna be examples, says, blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We we came here to worship him today, the father of mercies. And here's a great description we heard is the everlasting God that was encouraging. If you're tired here this morning, how about this?
[00:43:06] The God of all comfort if you're hurting here. If you're having a hard time, he's a God of all comfort who comforts us in all our afflictions.
[00:43:15] There's that same word, the Thessalonians. They became examples when they went through bad days. Well, that's how they became examples when they went through trials, when they took up their cross. So God who comforts us in all our affliction so that we. Here's how it works. May be able to comfort those with that who are in any affliction. We comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God, for as we share abundantly in Christ sufferings. So through Christ, we share abundantly in comfort, too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. And if we are comforted, it is for your comfort which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
[00:44:04] Ever had a trial in your life?
[00:44:07] If it had something go wrong, something that just tore you up on the inside. Something that hurt.
[00:44:13] I speak to anybody who's had a loved one die here this morning. I speak to anybody whose child was born with a condition that you didn't know if they were going to make it a condition they were going to live with for the rest of their life. My speaking to people who've had their heart broken in divorce here this morning, have you been through an affliction? It says the reason you went through that was to be an example.
[00:44:36] You went through that, so when somebody else goes through it, you could show them the way. That's why you went through that. It's not about you, is what it says.
[00:44:46] And I don't know what kind of suffering I'm going to do, but I know that when that suffering comes, I'm going to take up that cross and I'm going to keep going for Jesus Christ. And I hope that that will encourage somebody else. I hope that somebody else, when they go through that suffering, they will see it and they will be able to follow in those footsteps. See everybody here. The unique trials that God gives you in life. He will use in someone else's life. If you set yourself out to be a type of Christ. God will use you don't know what you want to accomplish in your few short days on this planet, but I want to help some people. Follow Jesus Christ. I want to help some people find authentic spiritual life. And I want to encourage them that if they're going through something, we've got somebody here in this church that went through the same thing and you go and imitate them. You go take a few walks in their shoes, take a few steps in their shoes and how they'll show you the way. That's what we're here for. We're here for each other. Have you received comfort? Who here has been helped by the Lord through a very difficult time in your life? Anybody experienced that? Well, then you are here to be an example, because God's going to bring somebody else in here if they're not here already. Who's going through it right now? And it's you got that God of all comfort. And he comforted you. And now you're here to pass it on to somebody else who's walking in your spiritual shadow. Who will be your legacy.
[00:46:18] So we're all going to die. We're all going to die. And you need somebody to speak at your funeral.
[00:46:26] You need you need somebody who can do the service. A pastor.
[00:46:30] And you need somebody who will stand up and say, they showed me Jesus Christ. Are you ready for that right now? That's the example that we need to be setting in our lives.
[00:46:42] Yesterday I went to the pool with my son, Jack. It was this big little kids pool. It was like a lagoon, like a fake beach. And if I don't know if you know who Jack is, Jack is two years old and he's still got the chub on his cheek. Right. I mean, this if we can get personal here. Right. He'll lift up his shirt so I can see his chubby belly. Right. And he'll be like, chase me and he'll start running around the house. All right. That's how Jack and I roll. We're pretty tight. I'm basically the biggest idol in his life right now. Someday he's gonna have to repent of it. But right now, it's pretty awesome.
[00:47:17] You know what I mean?
[00:47:19] And he started saying this phrase behind you. He started saying that recently. And we were walking in the pool and, you know, the pool that we're walking in, it's only up to my shorts, but it's basically up to this little dude's head, right? I mean, he's almost already one bad step and he's under water. And so I'm holding his hand and he's like, he's like, no daddy. Behind you.
[00:47:42] And he doesn't want me to hold his hand. He wants to walk behind me and so I say, OK, Jack. And he gets that way sometimes with your kids ever get very earnest like they haven't had a nap. And all of a sudden, like, they want to tell you something really important. You ever have your kids get like that? Like, I want to say something like, Daddy, listen to me right now. And he starts saying, Daddy, I'm yetto. He says, I'm yetto. That's how my sons, both my sons, when they're grown up, they can't say, oh, it's a white yetto. And he's shouting it to me in this pool. Daddy, I'm little daddy. Your big daddy.
[00:48:13] You're big, he says. And I'm like, why is he saying this, right, Daddy? I walk like, Big boy daddy. I walk like Big Daddy.
[00:48:23] That's what he says. He wants to be me, say.
[00:48:27] And I know a little bit about how a son can end up becoming their father even when they never intended to see. That's how it works. Everybody, here you are, an example. To the people that live in your house. To the people that live down your street. To the people that work or sit next to you at school. You are showing them some kind of Jesus Christ and people are going to follow you. Let's make sure that we're following Jesus Christ so that when other people follow us, they will be led straight to him. And we pray for us. God, thank you so much for the example that we have in the scripture, not only the example of Jesus Christ in his perfect life. But we also have the example of Paul and Silas and Timothy.
[00:49:13] We even have the example of this Thessalonians church and God you showed us here this morning, from your word, how discipleship works. That we see someone who is following Jesus Christ and we follow them. And then other people end up following us. And it's a spiritual network of relationships, of discipleship that continues and spreads like roads intersecting onwards and onwards as far as we can see. And God, I just pray that you will make me an example as as the pastor here of this church. I pray that you will make the deacons in the deaconesses. An example here is, as they are, someone that could be imitated in following Jesus Christ, in denying themself and taking up that cross and being willing to suffer.
[00:50:00] God, I pray that you will raise up everyone here, everyone who's a Christian, God raised them up today to be an example. To be a type of Jesus Christ to other people.
[00:50:12] Got. May we be a church? Who can be an example here in Huntington Beach, in the area all around here? God made when people see us, they see a group of people who are running so hard to follow Jesus Christ that if they started running with us and they started coming with us, that they would be following Jesus Christ to God. We want to be an authentic church.
[00:50:33] God. God, if I'm a fake. Get me out of here. If anybody here is a fake. God expose them. We'd want to be real Lord. We pray that we would be this kind of church that we read about in the Bible where people can mimic one another and follow Jesus Christ together, and that when somebody here has an affliction, they're able to take the comfort that they receive and pass it on to somebody else that we can raise up children who follow the example God make us that kind of church. We pray for your name, say for your glory, because you're the one that we're all following here, that heavenly father that we want to be like God. We pray this in Jesus.
[00:51:10] Name a man.
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