Don’t Forget His Benefits
By Bobby Blakey on January 4, 2015
Don’t Forget His Benefits
By Bobby Blakey on January 4, 2015
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:04] One of the things that we love at the Blakey household is we love Disneyland. Does anybody else love Disneyland around here, you Orange County people? That's right. Maybe some of you are pass holders. Those of us who are not, we feel bad about that.
[00:00:19] But there was one time someone bought us some passes and we had kind of a breakthrough that our whole family could go. And it was great fun for the whole family. And then it was like, what if one time is revolutionary concept? Just me and my wife went to Disneyland, like on a date like back when we were in college and we were dating. And the only ride that we wanted to go on was gazing into each other's eyes. You know what I mean? And so we had this great idea that we were going to go on a date to Disneyland and someone was there to take care of the kids. And we're in the car and we're drive in there. And it's like it's traffic time on the five freeway and we're in the carpool lane just like laughing at everybody else because there's two of us and we care about the environment.
[00:01:10] And you don't look at us. Right. And we're just cruising down the freeway and you just spend time with your spouse and you remember how exciting it is to be with them.
[00:01:20] We're starting to gaze into each other's eyes again. And she says to me, oh, you've got the passes, right? Let's just say we didn't end up at the happiest place on Earth. You know what I mean? Because I forgot the passes is the problem.
[00:01:37] And when I forgot the passes, it wasn't like I didn't put the two pieces of that card into my pocket. No, it's like I forgot that we were going out on a date. And when I forgot that we were going out on a date, it's not like I forgot that it was on the calendar. It's like I forgot you.
[00:01:52] Is how it feels. Right. And it wasn't such a happy time. Right. I don't know if you've ever forgotten your anniversary before. Right. But that's a mistake you make once, you know. I mean, I don't know if you've ever forgot your mom's birthday before, but I'm sure she rolled with it. Oh, yeah, I birthed you. And you can even remember my day. No problem, right? No. When you forget something, too. It feels like to people that you forgot them.
[00:02:20] See, how often in our lives do we forget how good God has been to us and how much does it feel to God like we have forgotten him like a father blessing his children with gift after gift after gift. And sometimes he doesn't even get a thank you note from us. Have you forgotten how good God is to you? That's what I want to talk about today from Joshua.
[00:02:45] Chapter four. So grab your Bible if you got one. And please turn with me. Everybody open it up to Joshua. Chapter four. We're doing some messages from Joshua last week and this week, just like he led the people into the Promised Land. There's a couple of thoughts for us to think about as we get ready to go into this new building and to see Jesus fulfill his promise not to give us a building, but to build his church. That's what we're hoping to see as many souls getting saved.
[00:03:12] And for the people to get into the promised land, they had to cross through the Jordan River. And then when they were going to pass through this Jordan River, God said, here's how we're going to do it. We're going to do a miracle. I'm going to send the ark of the Covenant and the priests in the middle of the river. And the water is going to stop flowing in the peak season when it's overflowing. The water's going to stop flowing and everybody in the nation of Israel is going to walk across on dry land before he even does that miracle. God says, I want you to pick up 12 stones from inside the Jordan River that would be under water. But you're walking across on dry ground. And I want you to pick up twelve stones, one for each tribe of Israel, and you're going to make a pile of stones. Memorial stones. And here's what it says happens. This is our text that we want to look at. It says Joshua, chapter four, verse 19. And I'll read all the way to verse 24. Follow along with me. It says, The people came up out of the Jordan on the 10th today of the first month and they encamped to gal on the east border of Jericho and those 12 stones which they took out of the Jordan Joshua setup at Gilgo.
[00:04:23] And he said to the people of Israel, when your children ask their fathers in times to come. What do these stones mean? Then you shall let your children know. Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground for the Lord. Your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea. You remember that when he delivered you out of Egypt at a pharaoh in his army. Do you remember when he dried up that part of the Red Seas you could walk across? Now he's done it for the Jordan River, which he dried up for us until we passed over so that all the peoples of the Earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty and that you, you and your children now may fear the Lord, your God forever. So here's God. Doing a miracle is that he's bringing his people into the promised land. And even before he does the miracle, he's telling you, the point of basically me doing this is so you will remember it and not even just so you will remember it, but you will tell your kids about it. And so when the day is all said and done, we've got a big pile of 12 massive stones right next to a river that's flowing. And someday you're going to walk by there with your son and you're going to say this was dry ground that we came across in. Your little boy is going to look at the rushing river in front of him and he's going to think, how could these things be?
[00:05:49] And he's going to be forced to consider the power of God. God wants not just to do things in your life. God wants you to remember them. And he wants you to pass them onto your children so that they'll be talked about with your children's children someday.
[00:06:05] God doesn't just do stuff. He does stuff so we can remember it and thank him for it.
[00:06:11] I mean, really, God did a lot of these things in the Bible so they would be written down. So many more people would end up reading the report of them than actually being eyewitnesses on the scene.
[00:06:23] That's how God works.
[00:06:25] He wants what he does to be remembered. And he wants you to make memorials when God does something special in your life, like when someone's born, we celebrate their birthday.
[00:06:34] When someone's married, we celebrate their anniversary. We kind of have Christian memorials where we have Christmas. We remember the birth of Christ. We have Easter. Or remember remember the resurrection of Christ. When God does something good in your life, do you ever, like, make an official remembrance of it? Like guys like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, when God bless them, they would build an altar and they would worship the Lord, and that altar would remain there to let everybody know that they had worshiped God as he had been good to them. Now there's a reference here in the book of Joshua to what happens in the Passover and Exodus twelve. Turn back to Exodus. Well, we've got to dig into the Old Testament to see kind of a pattern here that when God saves people and the salvation of the nation of Israel was bringing them out of Egypt, the exodus and the best part of the exodus. I mean, there's the 10 plagues. But then God brings them through the Red Sea, parting the Red Sea so they can walk across on dry ground. And so he says on the first month, on the 10th day, you're going to go on the Jordan on dry ground and you're going to have these memorial stones. Well, it just so happened that something else had happened on the first month. On the 10th day. Look at Exodus 12. With me, you'll notice the Passover. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt this month shall be for you the beginning of months, and it shall be the first month of the year for you. We're starting a new calendar right here right now. Tell all the congregation of Israel, everybody, that on the 10th day of this month. This is the same day they're going to go through the Jordan River later on the 10th day of this month. Every man shall take a lamb according to their father's houses. A lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons partner, up with a neighbor. If you don't have enough money for a lamb according to what each can eat. You shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish a meal a year old.
[00:08:33] You're going to take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the 14th day of the month. And then the whole congregation of Israel, they're going to kill these lambs as a sacrifice. And if you keep reading, you know what they're going to do. They're going to take the blood of the lamb and they're going to put it on the doorpost, because then when this angel of the Lord comes over to judge everyone and he's going to kill all the first borns, he'll pass over those who have the lambs blood on their doorpost. Now, who's heard of people, Jewish people celebrating the Passover to this very day, ever heard about that?
[00:09:09] What are they doing? Remembering.
[00:09:12] Before he even does it, this is what you're going to do every year on this day, from this day forward, you are going to make on the more I'm about to do something awesome. So even before I do it, I want to make sure you remember it. And they're still talking about the Passover to this day. Now, we don't necessarily get super excited about the Passover because we see the lamb's blood on the doorpost for what it really is. Blood on it, on a piece of wood so that you don't get judged for your sins. So we know about who that is. Who, who, who who did that for us. Jesus Christ. Let's take it out of the Old Testament and go to the new first Corinthians, Chapter 11. Oh, you think? Well, this is Old Testament stuff going across the Jordan, being delivered out of Egypt, the Passover over the firstborn. That's for the Jewish people. That's Old Testament. OK, well, here's some New Testament remembrance for you. First Corinthians, Chapter 11, even before Jesus does the miracle of miracles, dying on the cross, shedding his blood for your sin and then rising again so that you could have new life even the night before he dies. Jesus says, Here's how I want you to remember what I'm about to do. Are you starting to pick up the theme? When God does something, he wants you to remember it. He doesn't do it, so it will be forgotten. Here's how Jesus put it in first Corinthians 11. Twenty three. This might be a familiar passage. We've looked at it before. It says four I received from the Lord. What I also delivered to you at the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed, he took bread. So this is Jesus before he's died. He took bread. And when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, this is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me in the same way also.
[00:11:01] He took the cup after supper saying this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me. Says, Here's a piece of bread. This is going to be my body. Here's here's a cup. This is going to represent my blood. And they might have even been looking at him like, what are you talking about? Why is there a cup symbolizing your blood? Because he's telling them before he even gets up on the cross and sheds his blood so that every single person here could be forgiven of their sins.
[00:11:32] He says, when you do this, here's what I want you to do. Here's something that's really important to me if I'm going to give my life for you. Here's what I want you to do. Remember, say.
[00:11:44] How many days have we gone and lived our lives? Many people in this place right now would say I'm a Christian person. I know that many of you would say that. And how many days if we lived without remembering what makes us a Christian?
[00:11:57] The death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins.
[00:12:02] God is setting up specific memorials, ways to help us remember his goodness. Go back to Deuteronomy eight. Let's go back to the Old Testament before Joshua. As they're moving into the promised land, they were warned what would happen if you will forget, you know, the easiest thing in the world to do is forget, do nothing, and you will forget how good God has been to you. Remembering takes work. Remembering root means you have to call things to mind. You have a purpose to think of them forgetting. Do nothing and you'll stop thinking about what's really important in your life. And they're warned here in Deuteronomy eight not to forget it. Look what it says in Deuteronomy eight eleven. It says, Take care. Lest you forget the Lord. Your God, man. Be careful. Watch out. Last thing we would want anybody to do is forget what God has done. So take care. Lest you forget the Lord, your God.
[00:13:02] By not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest when you have eaten now it's talking about in the future, when you're in the promised land and you have eaten and you're full and you've built good houses and you live in them and your herds and your flocks multiply. OK, that's talking about their dollars in their bank account is the way that we would say your herds and your flocks multiply, your silver and gold is multiplied.
[00:13:29] All that you have is multiplied and your heart be lifted up and you forget the Lord, your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
[00:13:39] Remember that Passover? Well, you forgot about it. Now, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there's no it was no water. Who brought you water out of the flinty rock? Who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know that he might humble you and test you? Why? To do you good in the end. Beware, watch out. That's you saying your heart. Well, my power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth. You shall remember the Lord, your God for it is He who gives you power to get wealth. That he may confirm his covenant, that he swore to your father's as it is this day. And if you forget the Lord, your God, and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. What is the great sin for which these people are going to perish? What is the apostasy for which they will be judged? Forgetfulness is the sin that God speaks of here. Starting to think that you did it, that you blessed yourself. How many people have cried out to God? God, get me out of this one. My relationships at a breaking point. My finances are at a breaking point. God, I've got nowhere else to turn. If you don't help me out this time, God, I'll never make it. I think we've all been there at least once in our life. And who came through for you at that time?
[00:15:02] The Lord did. And did you go back and him? Did you make a memorial of it? Do you remember it or do you start to think to yourself as you live in your house and as your business multiplies and as you experience the blessings of God, you forget where they come from. Take care. Beware. You might one day think that you earned your own life.
[00:15:23] Watch out. That's.
[00:15:26] The people who perish and what happened to the people of Israel, if you've read the Old Testament, they get into the promised land. God leads them across the Jordan. There's the 12 memorial stones. Did the people of Israel remember?
[00:15:37] No, they did not. They did everything that they were warned not to do, and they forgot the goodness of God.
[00:15:44] If you don't think that you are in the in the potential that there is a serious temptation for you to forget how good God has been to you. You need to humble yourself here this morning. You need to realize any of us can forget the goodness of God. So we need to take time to make a memorial. That's point number one. Take time to make a memorial.
[00:16:05] You got it. You're going to have to set aside time to remember the goodness of God. They had a date for this. They had a day called the Sabbath Day. It was Saturday. It was the day of rest. No one was allowed to work. What was the point of no one being allowed to work on the seventh day to remember that God created the world, to remember that God delivered them out of Egypt? There was a whole day out of seven set aside to remember the goodness of God. How much time are you and I willing to set aside to remember God's goodness and to praise him? So we've done something here today without you knowing it. We have set aside this service right here to remember God's goodness to our church. And we had something we've been meeting here this our 18th week of meeting here, who was here all the way from week one? Anybody here all the way from one who's got perfect attendance. Eighteen for eighteen. Anybody? Yeah.
[00:17:00] You guys, I'll get a gold star. That's awesome. OK. I also have perfect attendance, so I'll take a star too. All right. Here we are. Right. We started out doing this thing. And after a while that I mean, people like to be an outside, but they were like, man, these seats, we're going to keep sitting in these seats. You realize these seats don't have bags. You realize these seats are wood with paint on them. And a few of them, a few of the godly men of our church approached me like, well, how much would it be to buy everybody a chair? You know him like. Have you thought about this pastor?
[00:17:31] Right. And so one guy, he actually went for it. He said, I'm going to at least get some seat cushions. And he pulled the trigger on it. And he said and I was like, talking with him. It's a get a guy named Scott Shue, and he's faithfully supported this church and served here. And he pulled the trigger on it. And I said, yeah, you know, right around the New Year's time, we'll be really tired of sitting in those seats. And so we'll give everybody on our first Sunday in the new year, we'll have a free giveaway. And so we made seat cushions for everybody right here. So it could be Khush on your tour as you sit here at Marena High School. Right. But guess what? By the time we actually give these seat cushions to you, it's our last Sunday here.
[00:18:14] What do you know about that? My friends. So we have a bunch of seat cushions with no practical purpose. Let me introduce you to our memorial seat cushions.
[00:18:25] My friends stack unused.
[00:18:29] You can use them right now if you want, but that's not really the idea. Now, at this point, know we're going to nice seats. Where do you see the new chairs? All right. Here's what I really want you to do. I want this to be your memorial stone. I want you to put this in the most obnoxious place you can imagine. Now, you can sit on it if you want. But what I really wanted to do is be like on your desk at work. Right. Or be like maybe you ladies could have it, like, awkwardly sticking out of your purse. You know what I mean? I want you to put it in a highly visible place so that someone it's going to be so awkward that someone even here in Orange County where we don't talk to each other, that someone is going to have to say to you at some point. What is that? Oh, well, this is my memorial seat cushion. We got these for our church. And before we could even use them, God moved us into a new building. You should come. That's how good God is.
[00:19:23] What do you think? Right here. So just think where you could put this where the most people would be annoyed by it.
[00:19:31] And hopefully somebody will ask you and you can tell. Maybe you can even go home and gather your family around and say, look how good God has been to our church. Maybe some of you guys will even frame these and put them on the walls of your houses so you can all look at it and be like, wow, look what God did. You took a small little group of people meeting outside under some easy up tents, and he gave us twenty eight thousand square feet of nonstop worshiping Jesus.
[00:20:02] See, this is this is above anything that we could have asked or thought. And so this is something that we have that I think now is serving a much better purpose than helping your rear be elevated a little bit.
[00:20:15] I think now this is hopefully a visual symbol to you that when you see it, you will remember God's goodness. And I think God has been very good to our church, even if you weren't here on day one way, maybe you jumped in on week to week six. Maybe this is your first week, but this is something that God has done here to bless us. So I just want to actually take a moment in the middle of the sermon just to pray and to thank God for his goodness to art church. God, you have exceeded our expectations once again, God in your word. You've promised to build your church. And your word. You have even told us that you are able to do above and beyond all that we would ask or think through the power that is working in your church, the power that is from Jesus Christ to your glory forever and ever.
[00:21:03] A man and God, we have seen that that abundant goodness, the greatness of your grace that you have given to us.
[00:21:12] And so, God, as a church, we just want to remember our brief time here at Marena high school briefer than any of us thought it would be. And now you have provided now a place that's even bigger where you we can continue to see you build your church. God. So let us not forget this. God, let every time we think about Marena High School, every time we see this seat cushion that we never used, may we remember you?
[00:21:38] Give you the glory. We pray this in Jesus name.
[00:21:42] All right. Now, this might sound like something kind of they did together as the Old Testament nation of Israel and something we're doing together as a church. But remembering God is very personal.
[00:21:54] Turn with me to soar. One hundred and three. Turn with me to Psalm one hundred and three. OK, we've made a memorial hopefully here together. That seat cushion will remind us. But what about you personally, what do you have to remember for the goodness of God in your specific individual life? We can thank him for his goodness to us collectively. But look at Psalm one hundred and three. And here's the response of a man who wants to remember. He doesn't want to forget. He's writing himself a song so he won't forget the goodness of God. Psalm one hundred and three. It's a Psalm of David. It's become a very popular worship song in our time. It says, Bless the Lord O My Soul, and all that is within me.
[00:22:40] And I just want to worship God with my whole heart. To bless him means to say good things about him. I want to bless his holy name.
[00:22:49] Bless the Lord, oh, my soul, and forget not all his benefits, why am I going to not going to forget them? Then he starts listing them, he starts counting them.
[00:22:59] Who forgives all your iniquity. He's forgiven all of your sins. Who heals all your diseases? Who redeems your life from the pit? Who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy. We talked about that before. You can't be alone because his goodness and mercy are chasing you down.
[00:23:17] He satisfies you with good so that your youth and the joy of being alive, it's renewed like the Eagles. It feels like you have wings and you're full of energy and life again. Why? Because God has been so good to you.
[00:23:35] Does this list sound familiar to anybody?
[00:23:38] I mean, did you say count your blessings? But I and I like the idea of counting your blessings rather than forgetting your blessings. But I don't really think counting them is enough. I think you need to feel your blessings. I think you need to remember how blessed you were when you got blessed that way.
[00:23:56] So we I mean, just that first line. It sounds biblical, it sounds Old Testament. Who forgives all your iniquity? Big word for sin. Right.
[00:24:06] And we just kind of move on. I mean, do you remember honestly what it was like when God forgave the guilt of your sin?
[00:24:14] Have you experienced that?
[00:24:16] Did you know that God was holy and you were not and you felt the burden and you felt the weight, you felt like you were going to stand before a judge and you were going to be guilty? Have you ever felt that way before when you knew that you were wrong, when you finally realized you were the problem in your own life?
[00:24:37] You were convicted by the Holy Spirit of your sin. Remember how miserable that feels. And I remember what it was like for me. I believe God saved me when I was a young boy and I knew for sure that I was going to hell and I was terrified of it. I was freaked out of my mind about it. I could picture a lake burning with fire where you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. And I thought to myself, I don't want to go there. And there was a sense of desperation. Even as a child, I could understand this.
[00:25:17] It was terrible feeling like that. Do you remember that?
[00:25:21] And everybody who's been saved by God, the only way to be saved is you feel the guilt of your sin, you feel his hand upon you, convincing you that you need to come to him and not just ask for his help, not just ask for a few more blessings. You need salvation. That's what you're saying convinces you of.
[00:25:38] And there's only one place you can find it, and it starts to become a very precious place to you. It's that tree, it's that piece of wood. It's where Jesus Christ gave his precious blood. The only thing that can wash this in a way, this only thing that can take this yoke, this burden of guilt and remove it from you for all time so that you can be forgiven.
[00:25:59] Clean slate. Start over.
[00:26:03] Do you remember what it felt like that day when you took the burden of sin off your back and you gave it to God? And Jesus Christ bore your burden, and he died for you. Can you remember that, my friends? That's what it means when it says who forgives your iniquity.
[00:26:21] And then we used to be very exciting.
[00:26:23] That used to be a real big deal when you were a new Christian and you thought you were going to hell. And then you saw God put you on a different path to a relationship with him to be with him in heaven. That was big news. It was good news. Remember that.
[00:26:38] You you kind of didn't understand how being a Christian works, because the way being a Christian works, today's you kind of go undercover and you don't get too excited. Last thing you want to do is like shout a man at something that's going on in a sermon when you're really thinking. But you wouldn't want to say it because that's just not what we do these days. Right. But he knew Christians. They don't seem to understand that. And when they get saved, what do they want to do? Well, they just want to go tell people about it. Right. They just want to, like, sing worship songs all the time. Right. They hear something in a sermon.
[00:27:07] And they realize you're talking about me. That's me. I'm the guy who just got saved. And they want to say something like a man. I get that. That's me now.
[00:27:16] Remember when you were like that?
[00:27:19] The truth is, many people here forgotten. You have forgotten what it felt like to have your sins forgiven and you have forgotten what it was like to be saved, and you kind of remember you and Jesus Christ are like husband and wife who have become roommates.
[00:27:36] You're like a family who's just become like children, who are responsibilities rather than loved ones to you. Is this relations we doing church, reading the Bible? All of this, if it's not a relationship, if it's lost the love than what is even the value of being here if you don't love Jesus Christ? What is the value of giving money to the church, trying to tell somebody else about Jesus? What's the value of coming and working in our new building if you don't love Jesus Christ? What is even the point? Why do we go through the motions? Go with me to Revelation Chapter two. Look at this here in Revelation, Chapter two, Jesus speaks to the church. In fact, Revelation two and three is probably the closest that we can get to Jesus Christ, our Lord in heaven, speaking to us as the church today. And he gives seven letters to seven different churches. These were real churches, but they also are types of churches that have existed all over the world for the last two thousand years and to the first church, the church in emphasis. He says this revelation chapter to start with me in verse one. It says to the angel of the church and emphasis right the words of him, who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lamp stands. That's an imagery for Jesus, who is among his churches. He knows what's going on at church. And now he wants to speak to this one church about what's going on with them. Verse two.
[00:29:04] I know your words, your toil and your patience, endurance and how you cannot bear with those who are evil.
[00:29:11] You've tested those who call themselves apostles and are not. And you found them to be false. I see the good works you're doing. I see how you're exposing false teaching. And I know you are enduring patiently. He says you're bearing up from my namesake. You have not grown weary, not sounds like a pretty good church.
[00:29:31] They're doing good things.
[00:29:33] In fact, there's other people out there doing fake things, things in the name of Jesus that aren't really genuine. And they can see that for what it is. They know their Bible well enough to expose false teaching. And then not only are they doing good things, they're sticking with it. They're doing them week after week, month after month, year after year. Does that sound like a good church to anybody else here?
[00:29:52] Right. But then we've got a big problem. Look at verse five. Look at what Jesus says. But here's what you don't want to hear Jesus say. I have this against you that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
[00:30:07] Remember? Therefore, from where you have fallen, repent and do the works.
[00:30:14] You did it first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place. And unless you repent.
[00:30:28] Now, I was there on the day that the lamp stand for this church was lit August 2nd of this year, there was a service at, ah, the church that planted us CompassHB Bible Church down in South Orange County. And they prayed. And from that moment on, we were a church and we were a lamp stand. That's the analogy here for a church. A fire that's burning.
[00:30:50] A light that's been sparked. I remember when it was started just a few months ago, and I would never wanting your Jesus say I'm shutting down compass by which are tiny beach.
[00:31:04] I would never want Jesus to say, hey, you guys doing good things are going through the motions. But you know what? There's a love this. There's a coldness, it's not a relationship anymore. It's not about me anymore. And I'd rather not have church than just a bunch of people going through the motions. That's how Jesus feels about the worst thing about love. Is it when it becomes normal? It's never meant to be normal. It's never meant to be routine. It's never meant to feel like another Sunday with Jesus. It's supposed to feel like date night. It's supposed to feel like I want to look into his eyes. It's supposed to feel like I can't get enough of Jesus Christ in my life. And he says, if you guys want to make it a routine and you guys want to go through the motions and keep doing good things and talk about how everybody's wrong and you're doing it right, well, shut your church down.
[00:31:50] That's what Jesus says, because if you don't love me, then I don't even want to do it.
[00:31:57] Am I hit home for some of us here today?
[00:32:00] Might be some people here today. I mean, if. Can you tell me right now that you love Jesus more today than you ever have in your entire life? That's the only. There's only one right thing to say about your relationship with Jesus Christ. I love him more today than I ever have. You want to tell your spouse on your big anniversary that the best days of your marriage were 10 years ago.
[00:32:25] You want to tell your child, hey, when you were when you were a newborn, when you were a toddler, when you still had a little bit of chub and those cheeks, you were really cute. And now you're like a brat. What happened to you? But I loved you. Couple of years ago. How many people in here are saying that to Jesus in your lives?
[00:32:43] And Jesus, when you saved me five, seven, 10 years ago and you saved me a couple years ago. So on fire, I loved you so much. Now I'm kind of used to you, Jesus.
[00:32:55] That's where a lot of us are at.
[00:32:57] If we're honest, that's where you'll naturally go, if you do nothing, you will lose your first love for Jesus Christ. And he says you lose your first love. I want to shut your church down. There's one thing that we have to get. If we're going to see Jesus to build our church here in Huntington Beach in this new building, we have to love Jesus Christ.
[00:33:15] That's the one thing we've got to do with all of our hearts. More now than we ever have before. Can you say that?
[00:33:22] And if you can't say that, here's it. Here's what he wants you to do. Look at look at verse five. If you're if you're convicted here that you've abandoned the love you had at first. Here's what he says. Key word, remember? And then he says, remember, therefore, from where you have fallen before you do anything, OK, before you say, oh, I got to start firing up all these things. Now, the first step, if you realize right now that you don't love Jesus as much as you used to. The first thing he wants you to do is remember. And what does he want you to remember? Remember the heights. Remember you fallen from where you used to be. Remember how sweet it was when you first loved Jesus Christ. Let's get that down for point number two. We want to remember the heights of your first love. Remember the heights of your first love?
[00:34:08] Remember the passion. Remember the zeal. Remember how exciting it was to worship for the first time. You were blessed in the Lord with all of your soul. You were telling your friends without any thought of how they might respond because of what the news was. So good to you. You just had to share it. You were reading your Bible without any thought of like. It was a chore or something. You had to start a new program at the New Year. You were just reading your Bible because you wanted to know Jesus Christ.
[00:34:36] Remember those heights, he says. Remember from where you have fallen. That's what I want you to do right now. Can you remember what it was like?
[00:34:46] I would hope that there's a good number of people here today as we're planning this church. I would hope that some people could say, honestly, right now, I do love you Jesus more right now than ever before. And if you can see that in your heart right now. Well, praise the Lord, my friend.
[00:35:01] But if he can't say that, what is the response, remember? And then there's a second word that he says that also starts with R and it's a pretty intense word. He says what? They're repent. Is it a sin to not love Jesus more than you used to?
[00:35:18] That's what he's saying right here.
[00:35:20] It's forgetting you're forgetting how sweet it was to have your sins forgiven and to be saved by his work on the cross. And forgiving is the sin that leads to the other sins. That's what he's saying. Someone who is remembering the goodness of God will not be falling into sin. They will be worshiping. They will be wanting to live and obey commands. They will be wanting to tell other people about Jesus. Whenever you sin. The reason is you forgot that God is good.
[00:35:50] One thought that we've got to keep in our minds that he saved me and so I love him and it says you're going to do the work, that you did it first.
[00:35:58] Remember first step. Remember the heights. I mean, I almost want to I almost want to ask you to close your eyes, but that feels a little creepy. You know what I mean? But I but I mean, I want you did like can you see your newly saved self? Can you see yourself when you were when the first what's your testimony when when you tell me you became a Christian. Can you see yourself at that moment? How passionate and excited you were about Jesus Christ. Can you remember those heights in your mind?
[00:36:32] And he says, repent if you if you've fallen from that, repent and go back and be that person that used to be start doing those things again. Right.
[00:36:42] I mean, if you lose that loving feeling with your spouse, go look in your spouse's eyes. Go give your spouse a kiss.
[00:36:50] See your loving feelings will start to return. Right. That's the idea here. Go back. Get back in the Bible. Two main things. I see new Christians. I've had the privilege of working with a lot of young people that God has saved. It's awesome to see God save somebody. No better show you're ever going to see on the planet than to see God save somebody. Can I get a man from anybody on that? Because we can say, man, from here at this church, I want to see God save a lot of people. I love watching it. And when I see new Christians and God's blessed me, he really has. I've gotten to see a lot of new Christians.
[00:37:22] There are two main primary things that I would consider the first works that Christian people do when they get saved. OK. Turn with me to first Peter Chapter two and we'll see one of them right here first, Peter. Chapter two. Verse two.
[00:37:37] And it's really a two step process. And this gives us the first step right here. First, Peter, chapter two, it talks about putting away all your old sin. You're putting off the old man. Now you're living this new life in Jesus Christ. And it says, like newborn infants, that's you when you were a baby Christian. Brand new, it says, like newborn infants long for the pure spiritual milk that buyat, you may grow up into salvation. What does a baby want? A baby wants the milk. A baby wants the bottle. Is a baby going to cry if they don't get the bottle? Yes, they will. Right. That's how it is. When you're a new Christian. You long for what? Your what's your milk? It's the Bible. It's the scripture, man. These new Christians, they've studied the Bible better than I do. I mean, they study them. I mean, I like I wish when you were a ten year old Christian, you could be as passionate as a brand new Christian because they want to read it.
[00:38:34] And then it starts to get familiar with them and then they lose their excitement for it.
[00:38:37] But when it's like, I don't know what it says and I just gotta get to know it. They just ingest this book.
[00:38:43] They long for it. You don't have to give new Christians a daily Bible reading program.
[00:38:48] They're on it already. Right. You just got to guide and direct them. Do you remember that?
[00:38:52] You remember the first time you read the Book of Revelation, the first time you read the Gospel of John? Do you remember when you were reading it? And it was more than a book. It was alive and active. And it was leaping into your heart. And it was shining out into your life. Do you have a time like that in your life when you were a newborn baby longing for the Bible, new Christians under point number two. You want to remember the heights? Here's one things they do.
[00:39:13] They love the Bible. That's what they love because that's where they made Jesus. Only place you're going to be Jesus is in the Jesus book. Right here. That's how you get to know. And you Christians, they can't get enough. And then it says verse three years, I thought after it says you're going to long for this pure spiritual mIRC milk. That's the word.
[00:39:34] It says, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is anybody read their Bible with me, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is what I see.
[00:39:44] You have that taste in your mouth.
[00:39:46] Once you get a bite of Jesus Christ, see, once you get a taste of how sweet it is to be loved by Jesus, how beautiful it is to have your sins forgiven you once you start shoe and a little bit on who Jesus is and what he did for you. You're going to come back for more of that, see if you really tasted the goodness of God. That's a taste you don't forget. Once you get that taste in your mouth, you hunger, you thirst for more. Jesus Christ. Notice there's a qualifier here if. If I'm describing this person who's on fire for Jesus Christ, this person who's experienced his love and had their sins forgiven and been given a new life, and I'm trying to get you to remember it because maybe you've forgotten it. But the truth is, we've probably got some people here today who have nothing to remember.
[00:40:40] Because you don't have the taste in your mouth. You don't know the Lord's goodness. You haven't really experienced it. Oh, you've heard tales of a. But it hasn't gone down and been ingested and really experienced in your soul.
[00:40:56] I mean, do you have a time where you could see yourself coming alive? Do you have a time where it seemed like your life turned around, where you went from darkness to light, from death to life?
[00:41:09] Do you have a time in your life where it felt like you were like a young person renewed in your strength, that you had wings like eagles because you were satisfied with the goodness of Jesus Christ?
[00:41:21] You can't remember it if it never happened. See? And if you can't if you're thinking about your life and you're like, you have never really been excited about studying the Bible. Well, maybe I haven't really tasted the Lord's goodness.
[00:41:34] Maybe the reason it's routine to you is because it's never been about love, it's always been about religion and the right thing to do and being a good person. It's never been about Jesus saving you from your sin.
[00:41:46] And now you love him, say. And there's nothing that's ever going to happen to you. That's better than meeting Jesus Christ for the first time. And then you're going to get to meet him for the first time face to face. That's the best thing. Do you remember that?
[00:42:03] Do you even have something to remember? The second thing is when you long for the pure spiritual spiritual milk and you get in the word second thing that you do, one is they love the Bible. Second thing, they love to talk about it. They love to talk about it. They haven't been beaten down by persecution. They haven't been told no. Or they haven't gotten those weird looks yet, you know what I mean? You know, and you're fired up about Jesus. I mean, if you. Can you imagine saying praise the Lord to people in public? You to say that I hang out with church people so much being the pastor that sometimes I'll be at Panda Express, you know, and I'll be sitting there and and somebody will come up and they'll be like, wow, it's great to see a family eating a meal together.
[00:42:42] And I'll be like, praise the Lord.
[00:42:44] I'll just let it out of my mouth. I just that's just kind of natural, right? They'll they'll they'll be like, wow, what a beautiful day. And I'll be like. Praise the Lord. No, look at me. Like, what does he have to do with the weather? You know, I mean, what are you talking about? You know, somebody will say something nice and I just it just flows. That's just how I think praise the Lord. And people look at me like that's not really. So you get that weird look. You guys know that you left. You know the look that I'm talking about, you let out what you really think about Jesus and how does the world respond? We're not on the same page. We don't know the love. We don't remember the goodness thing. And so you start to think to yourself, maybe I shouldn't express this love that I have for Jesus Christ because other people don't relate to it.
[00:43:27] Wrong response. We can learn something from the brand new Christians who don't know any better than to tell people I'm in love. And I don't care who knows it. See, I've given my heart away to the one who gave his body and his blood for me. And I remember him. And I want to tell you about it because it's the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Meeting Jesus Christ. And what a bad representation we are to be in love with one who would die for us to give us new life and to not tell people about it. Oh, man, I bet Jesus is offended. Oh, man, I can see why he would want to go to that church and he would want to say, let's shut it down. Let's close the doors. You're going through the motions. You've made a relationship, a religion.
[00:44:15] You've made love to do list. I'm done with this, Jesus says. You know what? Unfortunately, history tells us.
[00:44:26] At the church of emphasis did get shut down.
[00:44:29] It appears that even though this I mean, anybody ever read the Book of Fijians before? Pretty good book of the Bible. Right. I mean, go there with me. Go to the end of the Book of a Fijians. I mean, they got a letter from Jesus saying, if you don't get your love back for me, I'm going to shut you down. And apparently this church got shut down because they didn't get their love back. So easy to go through the motions. See, only by really being saved by Jesus. Can you love him. Anybody can fake it. The real thing is so hard to come by. And even people who know the real thing are so tempted to forget so easily.
[00:45:07] And at the end of Ephesians, I mean, these are six of the greatest chapters we've got in scripture. I mean, three chapters, all about what God's done for us. Three chapters about how we're supposed to live this new life in response.
[00:45:19] And it says at the end in Ephesians, chapter six, verse 24, it says, Grace, goodness of God, be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love, incorruptible with undying love is another way you could translate it. Man the goodness of God will always be on those who will keep on loving him and never stop. That's at the end of a letter to a church who got scripture sent to them and that church stopped loving Jesus.
[00:45:54] Don't you dare think that it won't happen to you if you're not careful.
[00:45:58] Don't you dare think that you're somehow always going to feel Jesus. Now you're going to have to remember Jesus Christ and you're going to have to get in the word do the things that you first did.
[00:46:10] You're going to have to force yourself to go talk to people about Jesus. And as you're talking to people, guess what will happen?
[00:46:16] The fire will fan into a flame once again. That light that was sparked will start to burn brightly again. And as you find yourself talking to other people about Jesus, you'll start to get emotional thinking about what he did for you.
[00:46:34] Do you have something to remember, my friend, do you have something to make a memorial love? Can you remember Jesus Christ, who died for your sin and rose again? And that burden of guilt was gone forever. And you've got a new life and you tasted sea of the goodness of the Lord. You're going to come back for more. Let's make sure that we remember the heights. And if we could have a group of people let's think about this, we're moving into a new building. We're having a whole week of service. More people are going to come to our church now than have ever come before. If we could be in love with Jesus Christ. And they could hear the Amen sound from his people again. They could hear us say things like for ease the Lord, because we're so satisfied with his goodness. So I would start spreading like a fire. That's what we need to see here and only to be just be praying for that, let's make sure if God's going to be so good to give us this building, let's make sure that we are giving him all of our hearts, our first love. Let's be able to say as a church, I love Jesus more now than ever before. Let me pray for you, God. Thank you so much for this reminder. God, I just think of those people there in the nation of Israel when they saw those stones and how they were supposed to remember how you had provided for them into the promised land a way across the Jordan River. And I just pray for us as a church when we see these these seat cushions.
[00:48:04] That we will remember how you have provided a way for us into this building and you have made a promise to us that you will build your church and that Satan and the demons and death and all the forces of hell, they cannot stop. What Jesus Christ is accomplishing through his people, what he has already accomplished on that cross and that empty tomb, and so, God, we worship Jesus, we remember Jesus Christ here today. God, I pray that we would be able to say that we love Jesus more now.
[00:48:37] Can we ever have before?
[00:48:40] Can I pray that everybody here, they could have a time that they can really remember where they fell in love with Jesus Christ? They responded to. By turning from their sin. Putting their faith in him. And if there's somebody who's here in this sermon right now and they know I don't got anything to remember, I don't have this passion for Jesus, hey, I'm a good person.
[00:48:59] I try to do what's right. I even go to church, but I don't know the love of Jesus Christ in my heart, this incorruptible, unquenchable, undying love because I've tasted of his goodness. And I just want more Jesus in my life.
[00:49:15] God, if there's someone who does not know that, please let them come talk to me. Let them talk to one of our ushers, let today be the day that they love Jesus Christ. And God for those of us who have been so blessed to have our iniquities atoned for, to have our sins washed away, God, I pray that we will not let the good news become old news to us. I pray we will remember the heights. Remember what it was like. To be terrified of going to hell and then to experience the joy of knowing we would never go there, we're going to heaven to be with you. We have a relationship with you.
[00:49:55] God restore onto us our first love, we pray. Let us be passionate followers of Jesus Christ. Let us never quiet talking about Jesus. Let us never quench our thirst to know more about Jesus. Make us that group of people. God, don't let us be the church in emphasis that did a bunch of good things but stopped loving you. Give us a love for you guys. Let us count our blessings, all 10,000 reasons, let us tell many people to behold our God. We pray this in Jesus name, amen.
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