Full-Time for Jesus

By Bobby Blakey on June 7, 2015

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

AUDIO

Full-Time for Jesus

By Bobby Blakey on June 7, 2015

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:00] When I was in college, I got a job working in the dish room of the cafeteria and that's how I was going to pay to go to school. Now, I don't know anybody here ever eaten in a cafeteria before. Where your appetite gets a little bit bigger than your stomach. Have you ever noticed that? Because it's kind of a buffet. Everything's paid for. So you're going through if it's a decent cafeteria, stuff looks good. So you throw it on your tray, right. Anybody ever been the cafeteria? Guys know how this works. You get a tray full of food and you get your plate and then all of a sudden you get drinks and then they got free ice cream, then they got jello. And so you just get this massive amount of stuff. At least that's how he did it at the college I went to. And then, you know, there's this little when you're done, you take your tray over here. There's this little, like conveyor belt going through a hole in the wall and you don't care about your tray. You dump your chocolate milk in your leftover food. You start get some piece swimmin in there. You think it's funny, you flick it at your friend, you put it on the conveyor belt, it goes into the wall, you're done with it. You never see it again. I was the guy on the other side of the wall, rubber gloves, you know, just like this big old a protecting me apron is what word look for into. I'm just getting disgusting stuff comin through and I have to sort it all and I have to put all the plates over here and the trays over here and it's just food everywhere and my hair on my face just splashing up at me. Totally gross job to make it worse. We've got this industrial sized washing machine over here. We call the Big Bertha affectionately and she is just scalding hot, burning these plates clean so we can get them back out there and reuse them by the time I'm done in the night. There is a trash can, probably two trash cans completely full of leftover food. It's the grossest thing you've ever seen. And you know this what I did every night of the week. All right. I mean, these trash can was so full and add so much weight to it. We had to put wheels on it or we won't even be able to move it. And you could literally, like, write it, like it, like a skateboard. That's how that's how substantial the trash was, would take two or three of us to throw it up into the dumpster to be done with it at the end of the night.

[00:02:02] And this cafeteria that I worked in, it was kind of old school and it had this clock at the back door. And you literally like when you were done at the end of the day, you ran back there, you got your time card and you put it into this clock and you punch the clock and you were out of there. That was the best moment of the day when I was done working in the Dish Room and I slam that clock and I was gone.

[00:02:25] Right. That's where we get the phrase clocking in and clocking out from like we're doing something and now we're not doing it. We're happy to be done with it. Here's what I'm concerned about. I'm concerned that a lot of us do that when it comes to Christianity. Like right now we're on the clock. We're clocked in here at church. Maybe throughout the week we go to a small group, but we have a Bible study or we do something we clock in for Jesus Christ. But sometimes if we're honest, maybe here this morning, at least some of us, there's times where we're off the clock.

[00:02:57] We're not thinking about Jesus. We're not trying to live for him.

[00:03:01] Yeah, there's some moments where being a Christian is really important to us. And then maybe there's other moments where it's not really a part of who we are.

[00:03:08] Are you perhaps a part time Christian? Are there a lot of people who aren't full time for Jesus?

[00:03:14] This is what our text is going to force us to ask ourselves if you'll open your Bible and turn to First Thessalonians Chapter five or coming to the end of this great book that we've been studying. And we're here at First Thessalonians, Chapter five. One sentence is all we're going to look at. One of my favorite sentences in the entire scripture here. First Thessalonians, Chapter five versus 16, 17 and 18, three different versus it's broken down into because their words are so powerful. But it's really one sentence. And you can see in the English language here in the original Greek, read it with me versus a lenience. Chapter five, verse 16.

[00:03:51] It says, Rejoice, always pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ. Jesus for you. So simple, let's just read it again, rejoice, always pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God. This is what God wants for you. For you. All of us who are in Christ Jesus. All of us who are truly Christians. It gives us three things here this morning that God wants for you. And the first thing I just want to focus on before we break those three things down is they just want you to see the 100 percent nature of the language that is used here in the God inspired scripture, though, the 24 seven ness here. Look what it says. Rejoice. Shout it out. How long does it say to rejoice? Always pray without what? Sing and give thanks when every circumstance does that leave any room, any time to be off the clock here.

[00:05:03] So, I mean, the first thing you got to see is clearly the way it describes being in Christ Jesus the way it describes being a Christian in this verse is that it's a 24/7 reality of your life. There's no possible way you could be a part time Christian if you're gonna if your life is gonna look like that. So to get this down four point or one to dove right into it here, you need to consider yourself on the clock 24/7. There's no turning off or turning down a living for Jesus in our life, it's and always without ceasing in all circumstances, type of a reality that you and I should have with Jesus Christ. And that just goes against our our Christian culture today, where we kind of got a lot of Sunday Christians. Maybe you've heard that phrase before. We've got a lot of people where being a Christian means going to church or doing specific tasks, doing specific things. These aren't things that you do. These are attitudes that you are. And they exist all of the time in your life. All of the time.

[00:06:07] Now, this has already been a theme of First Thessalonians palls. Been given the example. Look back at chapter two, verse nine. Now he's making it a command for the people to be always without ceasing in all circumstances. But that's how Paul lived. Look at First Thessalonians, chapter two, verse nine.

[00:06:23] He says, for you remember, brothers are labor and toil. We worked. How often did we work night and day that we might not be a burden to any of you all we proclaim to you. The Gospel of God. Hey, we didn't just call it a day when we checked out at five, six o'clock. No, we worked both the day shift and the night shift. And if you know, Paul, you know, commonly one of the things he did is he pastored the people. He preached the gospel to the people. And then he would go and he had a whole nother job. He was bi vocational and he would make tents to make a living so that he wouldn't have to ask for money from the people. And he would do both of those things working night and day, no time where he's kind of off the clock. He's always on see this in chapter three, verse 10. You can see this here is attitude toward these people, specifically mentioning prayer here in this verse, chapter three, verse ten, as we pray most earnestly with our utmost passion.

[00:07:23] Night and day that we may see you face to face and supply. What is lacking in your faith? I'm praying for you with a passion. Night and day.

[00:07:37] So if you've got a job where you go to work and you have hours at work and maybe your hours at work are eight to six or nine to five or whatever your hours are, and then you get to go home at the end of the day and you don't have to think about your job anymore. That's not what being a Christian is.

[00:07:55] There's no time where you're not thinking about being in Christ Jesus in the Christian life, it's an all consuming 24/7 reality that you and I are experiencing. Go to First Corinthians, chapter fifteen. If yeah, if you've been here with us for a while here at Compass Bible Church and you haven't figured it out yet. First Corinthians 15 is definitely one of my favorite chapters in all of the scripture. It's one of the longest chapters in the Scripture and the New Testament. At least it's got 58 verses here and it starts with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

[00:08:29] And the gospel is good news. Can I get a man from anybody on that and anybody here would know? Let's just make sure that everybody at our church knows what the gospel is. Okay, this is so important. In fact, if you were at the first service of our church or if you ever go online and there's a place you can find sermons on their compass, HP dot com sermons. If you never heard the first service of our church would be good. Go all the way down to the bottom and click on that first one because we go over what the gospel is. That's the most important thing we're ever going to talk about. It's good news. And a lot of people today, when you ask them what the gospel is, what is the good news of Jesus? A lot of people today that go to church cannot answer that question. I don't know if you've experienced this, but you say, hey, what's the gospel? And they'll say things like, well, you know what it is, you know. You know, you know. Right. And I'm like, yes, I know what it is. I'm asking you if you know what it is. Right. Well, sometimes. And we've gone over this before.

[00:09:27] One of the common answers to the question is, well, there's four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John say, I know my Bible. Happy face. So I was talking to a lady who's been coming to this church.

[00:09:39] She's been coming here for a while and she's been going to other churches much longer than that. And she there were some issues going on. And the question really came up, was this lady saved? Was she in Christ Jesus or not? And other people were assuring her 100 percent no need to worry. Of course, during Christ, Jesus, look at the good things you're doing in your life. And I asked this woman out of the kindness of my heart, not to try to make her look bad at all, but a sincere question. I said, hey, what is the gospel?

[00:10:12] And she can't tell me what the gospel is. I said, well, if somebody asked you, how would you be saved? What would you tell them?

[00:10:22] She would say, well, you know, try to change your life. Stop doing those things that you know are wrong. Start doing the right things that you know how to do. I said, is that really why you go to heaven? Because he stopped doing some bad things and you start doing some good things. I said, hey, can I tell you what the gospel is?

[00:10:40] And we weren't to First Corinthians 15. And we started reading right there in verse one hears the gospel. My friends, everybody that, you know needs to know this. This is the good news. Now, I would remind you, brothers of the gospel I preach to you, which you received in which you stand. This is the rock you're standing on. And by which you are being saved. This is what saves you. If you hold fast to the word I preach to you, unless you believe in vain, unless you just know the information of the gospel. But it doesn't lead to transformation in your life. Now, here it is, verse three four. I deliver it to you as a first importance. No greater importance than this.

[00:11:17] I gave to you what I also received that Christ. That's Jesus the holy and anointed one, the Messiah. He died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. What is the Gospel? Jesus is God. He became man. He died on the cross for your sins, and he rose again so that you could have complete forgiveness, all your sin being paid for. And you can now no eternal life, a relationship with God that lasts forever.

[00:11:49] Can I get any man from anybody or about that right there? That's what we've got to talk about here. It is maybe the clearest definition of scripture. First Corinthians fifteen. Make sure everybody that you know and love knows and loves that right there. And then he just starts going off the whole rest of this chapter. And the good news of that story, if you're wondering, is that woman heard the gospel that day. She repentant ever since, and she put her faith in Jesus Christ. That's the power of the gospel to save people. And she's like, oh, I knew about that, but I didn't know it was about that is what she said. I didn't know that specifically is what I'm trusting in for my salvation. When I say I believe in Jesus, that's the good news. I'm trusting it. And I think she's a saved person now because she put her faith in the gospel. Now, Paul, here he goes off on the power of the resurrection, how it really happened historically, how it can change your life now, how someday death is not going to sting you. Maybe the rapture is gonna happen that you're gonna live even after you die because of this powerful thing that has happened, the most glorious work, this resurrection of Jesus Christ.

[00:12:50] And for fifty seven verses, he says, here's the gospel. Let me tell you how awesome it is. Here's the resurrection. Look at what it means for you. And then this is his conclusion. Go all the way down to verse fifty eight. We've got a whole chapter about the gospel. And then he says this. If you really know the good news of Jesus, here's the response that makes sense. Therefore, my beloved brothers and I'm saying this because I care about you here this morning, here's how you should be in the gospel. Be steadfast, immovable, key phrase. I want you to underline and circle right here, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. How often does it say we should be abounding in the work of the Lord? Everybody always. One hundred percent of my time abounding. One hundred percent of my heart. I'm all in for Jesus Christ. We're thinking about time here and we're thinking about passion here, given everything that I possibly have to give there. Here's the here's the command. Look at what Jesus did for you. He paid for all of your sin and he rose again so you can have this new kind of life. So here's what you should do. Always a bound in working for Jesus. You're full time for Jesus. Every single one of us who's a Christian, we're full time. And if we think at church that there's full time staff who are going to do the work of Jesus at the church, I'll tell you what, that church is going to fail right there.

[00:14:22] Every single Christian person is on the clock all the time living to serve Jesus Christ, whether it's with your family, whether it's at work, whether it's in your neighborhood, whether it's here with us. I'm always doing the work of the Lord. And it's so worth it.

[00:14:38] I know that everything I do for Jesus, it's not going to be in vain. There's gonna be a reward. It's always gonna be worth it to live for Jesus Christ.

[00:14:47] So here's a clear command that's not for pastors. It's not for spiritual leaders in the church. This is a command for any person who believes the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you believe the gospel of Jesus Christ? Have you put your faith in Jesus Christ then always abound in the work of the Lord?

[00:15:05] That's the goal. That's what we're striving for. One hundred percent of my time. One hundred percent of my heart. No matter what I'm doing, here's how I'm doing it all out for Jesus Christ. That's what it's saying here.

[00:15:17] Rejoice. Always pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every single circumstance of your life.

[00:15:25] It's all inclusive. One hundred percent. Now, that might sound like a real burden to some people.

[00:15:32] Go back to First Thessalonians, Chapter five, and let's just look at the three things it's telling us to do here, my friends, all of the time, and you're going to find out it's a lot better than whatever you're your day job is, whatever you're doing to make a living. These things that we're being called to do 24/7 here are a lot better than that. And then whatever it is you're doing when it tells you to do something always, what is the thing it wants you to do? Always hear in the text. Where is it commanding us? Rejoice. Does that sound like a burden, anybody? Does that sound like all drudgery? Oh, here we come with that joy stuff again. You know what I mean? Here's something I want you guys to always be about having joy. Oh, here's something else that you can always do. The opportunity is there for you at every single moment of your life. You can talk to God. You can pray at any given moment. All of the time. In fact, you can have a conversation with God that really never ends an ongoing dialog with him so that it's like you're always doing it. That's available to everybody here. You need strength. You need help. You need mercy. You got it 24/7. That's what I want you to do 24/7 is receive goodness from God. That's what it sounds, Sandra. And then because it's gonna be so joyful and you're gonna be so blessed by the answer to your prayers, just give thanks.

[00:16:44] Just be thankful. Just have an attitude of this. This is some like a burden or does this sound like good stuff right here? Right. Why is it so hard for us to do, my friends? Why do we act like 24/7?

[00:16:55] Here we go again with this all in Christianity, the blessings that are being offered here. Now, what's the common denominator here? Are you supposed to go, like, make yourself joyful? Is that what it's saying here? Go like find out of all the terrible things that are happening in your life. Find that one thing to be thankful for is out. Is that what it's talking about here?

[00:17:15] No, you see, it's not saying Christianity is something that we do. That's that's the problem that when you and I start thinking that Christianity is a bunch of things to do, we've completely missed the point. See, these things are all a natural overflow. You're going to have joy. You're going to pray. And you're going to be so thankful when you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That's what that's the idea here. If you're in Christ, here's what God wants you to do. And here's kind of what you're naturally going to do. If you're in Christ is you're going to have these things and you're going to have them. They're going to permeate every area of your life because that's how powerful your relationship with Jesus is. Now, the greatest thing about working in the Dish Room all those years, the reason I block brought that up was not because there was a clock that you could clock in and out of. It's because of the person that was standing right next to me in that messy, nasty, steamy, big closet area, the dish room. There was this lady next to me. Her name was Krista. And if you don't know, that's now my wife. And we just became coworkers there in the germ on the first day of work. Here I am sorting all this stuff, sweating just grossness everywhere. And here's like, you know, like the the darkness fleas and the light shines down, like this thing of beauty here, just sorting things where they go. No sweat at all. No perspiration. Right. Not a drop of food anywhere that you can see. And I'm just like, disgusting. Right. And we started talking. We started to get to know each other. We were just working side by side and we established a strong friendship and kind of how it would work as guys would come into the dish room to ask her out on a date.

[00:18:48] And I would be in there and my glasses would start steaming up and I'd have to go out of the room and, like, cool off for a minute.

[00:18:55] You know, I mean, I was kind of the reporter that we established here. It was getting hot and steamy there and that this room had to take a minute and take a minute out. So we got we got to know each other. We we. There was no interest at first. It was just a real friendship. And this guy would come in and I would know the guy and he was a jerk. And I would say to, are you gonna go out with that guy?

[00:19:12] And she'd be like, I'm never going to go out with that guy. Doesn't even know my name. He just came to ask me out like, yeah, that's that's a good thing. What do you think about dating people when we'd start this long conversation?

[00:19:23] Eventually, this long conversation is ongoing conversation that we would have whenever we work. Well, then we had a whole crew of people there in the Dishman. We'd start hanging out and then all of a sudden it became pretty clear to me and to her and everyone else around that we really liked each other a lot.

[00:19:37] And this relationship, like there was some growing attraction here in this relationship.

[00:19:42] Finally, one day after we knew we liked each other for a long time, I went up to her and I said, hey, I got to tell you something, I got to be honest with you.

[00:19:49] I don't like you anymore. And I could just see her heart break right in front of me, but see her countenance just fall. And I said, I don't like you anymore. I love you. That's why I set on to spend the rest of my life with you. We started talking about marriage. We're just young kids falling in love. We're talking about marriage, how we always want to be together. That was our heart's desire that we would be united by God, two people becoming one and we could have a relationship with each other. So just do I have a clock out of being married to my wife? How would my wife feel if it's like, hey, you know what? It's been a great day loving you. But now tonight I need to meet her.

[00:20:27] So I'm just gonna hit the clock on marriage and I'll see you later. You got the kids. You got the house. Great things I provided for you. Oh, peace out right now.

[00:20:35] Yeah. How's that going to work? My friends? How can we think about clocking out when our religion is not a religion? It's a relationship with Jesus Christ. You cannot clock out of a relationship. A relationship is not something that you do. A relationship is who you are. And if you are in Christ, see joy, prayer, Thanksgiving. That's just a part of the benefits of the relationship that you have. And member, what Jesus said.

[00:21:08] His last words in the gospel of Matthew to his disciples. And behold. Look at this. Here's something everybody needs to see.

[00:21:13] I am with you always to the end of the age. Well, there is where the joy is going to come from. There's one I'm going to be praying all the time.

[00:21:22] That's why I can always give thanks, because Jesus is always with me. Go to John, Chapter 15. Turn with me to John. Chapter 15.

[00:21:31] And let's just get stirred up afresh, my friends. Have you fallen in love with Jesus Christ? And you've stopped saying that I want to date Jesus. I want to like Jesus Norman, to love Jesus for the rest of my life. I'm gonna live for Jesus Christ. I'm look at the gospel. Look how good it is. Look what he did for me. I have to give my life to him. Well, then you have a relationship with Jesus and it's described here in John, Chapter 15, starting in verse four. And it says, Abide in me now.

[00:22:00] Abide is a is not my favorite translation there, because that's kind of a Spiritualized Spiritualized word. We're not drop abide, you know.

[00:22:09] Yeah. Come on into my house is where I abide. Man, we're not really saying that to each other. Words that we use are words like remain or stay. In fact, if you're taking notes or even in your Bible, if you could RMI right in there, I would really love for you to do this, remain or stay or. Great ways to think about this idea of abiding.

[00:22:27] Hey, you have this relationship, remain aware of it. Stay in it. Sometimes we use this phrase practice the presence of God. Like just be aware that God is with you all of the time and walk in his presence, acknowledge that he's there with you. That's the idea when it says here to abide in me and I in you, we've got a relationship.

[00:22:47] And here's the analogy Jesus gives in this passage as the branch that's he's gonna compare us to as a branch, as a branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine.

[00:22:58] Neither can you unless you abide in me. I'm the vine. You are the branches. So whoever remains in me, stays in me, lives in me and I in him. He it is that bears much fruit for apart from me you can do nothing. So why am I telling you guys, hey, here's some things you need to go do all the time this week with all of your heart. You need to go do joy, prayer and Thanksgiving. That sounds burdensome. I'm not saying go do those things. Here's what I'm saying. Remain in Jesus this week.

[00:23:31] That's what I'm saying.

[00:23:32] Stay connected to Christ. All week long. Always be aware that you are in a relationship with Jesus. And just watch the joy. Watch the prayer.

[00:23:41] Watch the Thanksgiving. Take over your life. That's what it's saying right here. And I can be able to do that stuff unless you remaining in Christ.

[00:23:50] And why would you ever want to clock out of that? Because here's what it looks like. Verse six. If anyone does not abide in me, he's thrown away like a branch and Withers and the branches are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned. How can you clock out of a relationship? Why would you want to if you disconnect yourself from the vine. You've got nothing.

[00:24:08] Your firewood is what it's saying right there. Verse seven, if you abide in me and my words remain or stay in you. That's one way we get to know Christ is through his words. Ask whatever you wish. Another way we get to know him prayer and it will be done for you by this.

[00:24:24] My father is glorified that you bear much fruit and then you prove to be my disciples as the father has loved me. So have I loved you. So abide remain. Stay right there in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my father's commandments and abide in his love. Now, why is he saying all of this about having this relationship with him?

[00:24:48] Verse eleven. These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full. What? Anybody like that? To have that here this morning, full joy is being offered to you, not your joy. Jesus his joy filling you completely. If you remain in relationship with him, let's get that down for point number two. That's what we're here to talk about. If you have a relationship with Jesus through the gospel, then what we're doing from that point on is we're staying right there in that relationship. We're always aware of it. We're always practicing his presence with us. We remain abide in this relationship with Jesus Christ. That is the key to producing all of these things. You can see that after this discussion of a relationship with him, it ends with your fullness of joy. How are you going to rejoice always, always practicing the presence of Jesus in your life.

[00:25:44] That's gonna fill you up. Some of you guys know what I'm talking about. You've got joy in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

[00:25:52] Now, here's usually what we do when we start talking about Joy. Let's get into rejoicing. Specifically, we say something like this. Well, then we sound very spiritual. We kind of get our spiritual voice out. And we said, well, happiness. So earthly. It's a worldly happiness is based on what's happening. But Joy's deeper. You get who's heard that before? Everybody heard that before Joya's deeper. Right. Joy is so deep that you're rarely going to see me ever express it in my life. That's that's kind of where that goes, right. Like joy is just some state of being.

[00:26:24] No, no, joy. I agree with the idea that joy is much more powerful than happiness, but joy is gonna be bursting out of your skin.

[00:26:34] You grew up going to church like I did. We sang a lot of cheesy songs, and one of them was, I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy. Anybody ever.

[00:26:41] Another song Down in My Heart where? Right down in my heart, I got the Joe to Jo Joe.

[00:26:51] Where I made my heart to stay right there. And I'm so happy. So very happy. So joy leads to happiness. It's more powerful than happiness. It meets happiness, beats it up, overwhelms it and takes over. That's what joy does. I've got the love of Jesus in my H.E.R tea. And I'm so happy. Right.

[00:27:13] You'd have to look at Christians a long time. Some of them to see that happiness.

[00:27:18] When there's a lot of people that you would not describe. Oh, I'm all about living for Jesus Christ and what a burden it is on my life, brother.

[00:27:25] What a trial it is when everybody else is doing what's wrong. I'm over here doing what's right in the corner, feeling sorry for myself, my self-righteous pity party going on. Where's the joy, you know, when Jesus Christ shouldn't be down in your heart?

[00:27:38] I mean, that's where it comes from. But it should be bursting out of your skin. You don't understand, man. I was a sinner.

[00:27:45] I was destined for judgment and Jesus he took it for me. And now I have no fear of condemnation in Jesus Christ. And you could kill me and I'd go and be in his presence. You keep me here and he'll walk with me every step of the way. I mean, nothing can happen to me to take away this relationship I've found with Jesus Christ should be ever present with us. This joy that we've got. He's joining us. So our joy is full. That's the idea.

[00:28:14] This guy, Martin Lloyd-Jones, he wrote this book that I really like called Spiritual Depression. It's actually a collection of his sermons. And the idea is, why would you be a Christian and be depressed? Why would you be a Christian and not be defined by joy? And only does in this book is go through possible reasons that a Christian person might not be experiencing the joy of Jesus Christ. And he says this quote, In a sense, a depressed Christian is a contradiction in terms. And he is a very poor recommendation for the gospel.

[00:28:46] How can we how can we not if we've got the good news of salvation? How could people not see that excitement, that passion bursting out in our lives?

[00:28:55] Go to Psalm 118. Let's take a look at this. Joy in the Book of Psalms. Grab your Bible. Everybody turn there. We're going back to the Old Testament here and look at Psalm 118.

[00:29:07] And there's a passage here. It's the prosthetic. It's talking about Jesus Christ. It's in Psalm 118, verse 22. And first of all, this this chapter, someone 18 starts out while you're turning there. I'll just read verse one. Oh, give thanks to the Lord. Why? Cause he's good. Why? Because his steadfast love endures forever. I mean, it just starts out with this joyful idea that God's good and we should be thankful.

[00:29:33] But then here in verse 22, it gets very specific. It says The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. That's a prophecy. And it's kind of cryptic. It's talking about some kind of stone. But there's people who are supposed to be building on the stone. And they reject the stone. And then that quote, that stone that got rejected becomes the cornerstone, the very foundation of the entire building. And if you study the New Testament, this verse right here, someone 18, 22, it comes up a bunch. And it's very clear that the Jewish leaders, the leaders of what was going on among the people of God at the time of Jesus, the very people who should have been embracing Jesus and believing in him as messiah. They rejected Jesus. They are the ones who got him crucified on that cross. And here was the stone that they could have built everything on. And they rejected it. And yet it still became the foundation.

[00:30:25] So this is talking about when Jesus comes, get rich, gets rejected by the Jewish leaders. And yet he becomes the beginning of something new, that God starts the church of Jesus Christ that we're a part of. And it says, then look at verse twenty three. These this verse might sound familiar. These next couple verses says this is the Lord's doing.

[00:30:42] Here's something that God's done. And it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. If you grew up going to church, you've heard that verse for sure. We've got a song about that one, too. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Well, why are you excited about the day? It's just. Oh, it's a new day is mercies are new every morning. Hey, it's a new day. Let's rejoice. No. What is the day that it's talking about? It's talking about there's this new season, this new era of time that happened. The Messiah came. He was rejected by his own people. That's terrible. But here's the good news. Because of that rejection. Now, anyone you don't have to be a Jew. You can be a gentile. Anyone now can believe in Jesus, believe in the gospel and become a part of the church. This is the day of salvation, my friends. Look what God has done. Jesus got rejected and because of his rejection.

[00:31:40] Now anyone can be accepted in relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And so what is the day that we're rejoicing at? It's the day of your salvation, that's what you're rejoicing in.

[00:31:51] That guy would be so good to open up the doors of heaven to a sinner like me and to offer up his one and only son for my sins so I could be completely forgiven. That's a day to rejoice in and be glad in it. Rejoice and be happy is basically what it's saying right there. Jesus Christ has saved you. What is going to happen to you in your life that's going to take away the fact that Jesus saved your soul for all of eternity, my friends. Salvation trumps all other circumstances. That's why you can rejoice always. Let's get that down for our four first dash here as we break down these three different things that come out of our relationship. Salvation always trumps circumstances. Your joy that you have in Jesus Christ. The fact that you can remain in relationship with him this day of salvation that you have experienced no circumstance, no matter what is happening, it might destroy superficial happiness, but it can't destroy your joy because your joy is eternally secured in Christ.

[00:32:59] So.

[00:33:01] But you have something that's worth getting excited about, there is no bad news that can trump the good news you have in Jesus Christ, my friend.

[00:33:10] So you can rejoice always.

[00:33:13] Because of the powerful force of joy that you've got in your life. Go to Philippians, Chapter four. Turn with me to the New Testament. Now, another command, very similar to the one that we've got in First Thessalonians is found here in Philippians, chapter four, verse four. This is a theme from Paul. In fact, the Book of Philippians has joy in it all over the place, describing all of this joy that we can have through the gospel of Jesus in our relationships with one another, even. And then here's a command Philippians Chapter four, verse four.

[00:33:46] Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice. Anybody ever heard that verse before? I'm pretty sure we sing that one too.

[00:33:54] But if you grew up going to church, rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say rejoice. Anybody remember that?

[00:34:01] And then people start singing it around. Riccio's muchos there's like a round going on.

[00:34:06] And we've got all these songs about joy. Are we singing them? Are we living them out?

[00:34:13] Are we excited that I know Jesus Christ and I walk with him every single day and nothing that happens to me today or tomorrow or the next day can take away my relationship with Jesus one little bit?

[00:34:29] I got it all the time.

[00:34:31] In every circumstance, I've got joy. And so there's a command rejoice always, which is basically when you hear the command to rejoice. It's basically telling you think about what you got in Jesus Christ. And if it doesn't get you excited, what's going on? Get stirred up by the good news once again. Now, if you keep reading here in this passage, it will take us right into our next thing. Look at verse five. It says, Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand. And now it says, do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer. OK, hold on. In everything by prayer. That's starting to sound like pray without ceasing.

[00:35:09] In everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving. Hold on. We got the trifecta here. Rejoice, pray and Thanksgiving. Let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding. We'll guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. So we're going to rejoice always. And how can we do that in the Lord?

[00:35:34] And then it says, hey, you know those anxieties, you know those things that tempt you to worry, the panic that sometimes comes upon you when this or that might happen with your kids, with your work, with your school, with driving, whatever. The things that cause you to worry in life.

[00:35:54] Hey, look what it says there in verse six. Again, we see powerful one hundred percent all of the time language. Do not be anxious about what? What does it say there? Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer. I take every worry, every care that I might have that could cause me to be anxious. And I turned it into a prayer to God.

[00:36:17] That's what it's saying right here. Well, you think it will. How could someone possibly pray all of the time? Well, let me ask you this. If you took every possible worry or anxiety and you turned it into prayer, would you be praying all the time, my friend?

[00:36:30] See, that's how it works right there. That's how it works. Pray without ceasing. It's kind of like when you got this lingering cough. Anybody ever had a lingering cough before? I've had one before. Right. You say I'm coughing all the time. Well, how did you just tell me that you just were speaking. You weren't actually coughing, but yet it feels like you're coughing all the time. That's what it means by pray without ceasing. Well, you can't actually be praying all of the time, but it's so ongoing.

[00:36:55] It's so right there. It's so on the on the tip of your tongue. It's so always in your mind this thoughtfulness about God and this speaking to him throughout the day that it's like you've never really stopped doing it. It's like the phone conversation never really got disconnected. There's an ongoing dialog between you and God.

[00:37:14] That's what it's talking about here.

[00:37:16] And and if you just take this verse for what it says and you believe that God wants you to do this and you actually try to take everything that can cause you to be anxious about what's going to happen in you, turn every single one of those thoughts into a prayer.

[00:37:33] You will be talking to God all the time, won't you?

[00:37:36] Kind of like hopefully you talk to that person that you love, your spouse all the time. I have a relationship with my wife where we are dialoging all the time. Now, are we always talking face to face? No. Are we always on the phone? No. Sometimes we even get down to text messages. Right. I mean, throughout the day, sometimes we can't be on the phone. We can't get face to face.

[00:38:02] So I'm just shooting off quick text messages to my wife to let her know I'm thinking about her. She sends them to me. You know, we've and sometimes don't even send words. It's just little emojis that we send to one another. Anybody else do the. Like, I know this woman so well with a little cheesy picture on her phone. I can tell what's going on in her life because we have a conversation that never ends. That's what you doing with God.

[00:38:28] That's what you do want with God.

[00:38:29] You can never if you have a relationship with God. It never turns off. He never goes away. He's always there. And so you're taking every care and you're directing it to him. And you're concerned about what's going to happen with your with your child. And so what do you do? The helicopter parent, do you freak out? Do you try to find a way to do the impossible and perfectly protect your kid? Where do you take that anxiety and you take it to the Lord and say, Lord, you gave me this child and I'm given this child into your hands to take care.

[00:39:00] I'm going to trust you for the life of the kid that you gave me. How do you deal with your problems in life, it says here. Prayer is how you deal with them. We got to have this conversation.

[00:39:15] I mean, hopefully there's times that you as a Christian person because you love God so much, you go into the secret place and you pray and you sit there sometimes even for a long time, just talking between you and God. I mean, hopefully if you're married, you got a date night. You've got a time after the kids are in bed. You've got some time that the two of you can gaze into each other's eyes and start to feel those romantical feelings once again and speak to one another openly for a long time. Hopefully you have that time with the Lord as well. Well, you speak to him, but then you don't always get to sit there and be in the secret place with the Heavenly Father, know you're running and doing his work. You're always abounding in it. But as you go, the conversation does not end between you and God.

[00:39:59] We all need this conversation so bad. I mean, wouldn't your day be so much better if God was walking with you through it all the time? He is my friend. He's right there all the time. We're just not talking with him. Let's talk while you walk. Let's get that down for our second one here. Let's talk while you walk.

[00:40:19] Let's take these things that are always going around sometimes myself, I walk around and I think something that I feel like, oh, that's that's proud, that's full of myself. And I'll just immediately start praying for God to humble me. Sometimes I'll be walking through my day and something will happen. I'll feel like, wow, that sounds hard. I really need help and all immediately.

[00:40:36] Just say, God, please help me. I mean, how many times have I fired off to God like emojis in my mind? How humble me. Help me. I need you right now.

[00:40:48] I mean, we should that we need God's presence to practice it in prayer. All of the time. Go to Nehemiah. Chapter two, this is in the Old Testament, might be a little harder to find. It's before the Book of Psalms here in the Old Testament. But it's gonna be worth it. Here's a great example of what we mean by praying without ceasing this 24/7 kind of prayer. Nehemiah.

[00:41:08] He's a guy who wants to go back and rebuild Jerusalem. He's a Jew, but he's been in. He's in a foreign land. And he just happens to be the cup bearer for the king. And so here he has this opportunity and Nehemiah chapter to work here, a lowly servant, a cup bearer gets to talk to the king.

[00:41:29] Look what happens. It says in the month of Nesuhi, in the 20th year of King Arta, Zerk sees when wine was before him. I took up the wine and I gave it to the king. That's what he does. He's the cup bear. He drinks the wine first to make sure it's not poisoned. He'll die instead of the king. Now he's heartbroken about what's going on in Jerusalem when he finds out that it's broken down, the walls haven't been rebuilt.

[00:41:51] So he said, but he had not been sat in the presence of the king. This time he is sad in the presence of the king. And the king said to me, why is your face sad seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart. Then I was very much afraid.

[00:42:06] Gamma lowly servant of the king. He's not even supposed to know that I exist. I just bring him his cup when he's thirsty for his drink. But now the king is calling me out because he can tell that I'm sad in his presence. This could go very poorly for me if the king is in pleased with my service, isn't in his presence. He could kill me. I mean, the king can do whatever he wants.

[00:42:27] And so his first response Nehemiah has, when the king calls him out about his sadness is he is anxious. Is he is worried. He is afraid. Watch how he handles this situation.

[00:42:40] Verse three, I said to the king, and this is what you always say to the king. Let the king live forever. So you always start when you're talking to the gate. Why should not my face be sad when the city. The place of my father's graves lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire. He prefers hey, I'm sad because Jerusalem is broken down, and the king said to me, what are you requesting? Key phrase, underline it right here. So I prayed to the God of heaven. Now, what did he do? Go into a room and have a quiet time, is that what he's talking about?

[00:43:15] Got out his prayer list and went through a few things right there in his mind before he answers the king answering the king is freaking him out. And he then talks to someone who is above the king. He's in the throne standing before the king there in the throne room. He goes to the heavenly throne room and he talks to someone with more authority, the God of heaven.

[00:43:36] And he talks to him before he answers the king. Real quick in his mind like that.

[00:43:43] What makes you afraid you can answer it immediately? You can go to someone who is in control of everything that you fear and you can talk straight to him, the source of ultimate sovereignty and authority over the universe at any moment.

[00:43:55] You are offered this access in Christ Jesus to talk to God who will act on your behalf. It's amazing. It's amazing the opportunity that we have in prayer. And it's amazing how we're squandering a maybe hour by hour throughout the day. Let's make sure we capitalize. God's walking with us. His power is right there working through us. Let's ask him. Let's talk then. Let's pray without ceasing.

[00:44:23] Go back to First Thessalonians five, because there's a there's another one here. And I think that this last one here, I think when you read it, it just rubs us kind of the wrong way. Give thanks in all circumstances. Give thanks in all circumstances. Yeah. I think we can all agree that being thankful is a good thing, particularly when we give people things. We like it when they're thankful for the things that we give them right when we take care of our kids. And our kids are a bunch of ingrates, that doesn't really rub us the right way. And I give them in front of my kid. Just remember who gave you all these Pokemon cards or whatever it is, right? Where do these come from? You think you bought them? Where did that money come from? Right. Let's just back it up the food chain a little bit here, buddy.

[00:45:04] All right.

[00:45:05] Yeah, that's right. Thank you, Dad. That's what you're supposed to say. That's right. You want when you give, you want to receive. Thanks. I think we can all acknowledge that. I think we can all acknowledge that thanking God is a good thing. We've got a day set aside for Thanksgiving. Oftentimes we pray maybe before our meals. And I hope that we say thank you to God for the goodness even just represented and how he's providing for us physically with food, with health, with life.

[00:45:29] But here, it says something that challenges us to our very core, give thanks in all circumstances.

[00:45:37] And everything that happens.

[00:45:40] Now, a couple of passages that you can track. Let's turn to one of almost just go to officiants, Chapter five. It's just a few pages over to the left. And let's just see here. This command once again echoed in Friesians, Chapter five. Now, maybe we think we come here to church to give thanks and we definitely do. I mean, hopefully this is a profound time of worship. That's what we're trying to have when we come here to church. Like, your heart is really stirred up thinking about God and your responding to God from your heart. When we sing these songs together and it refers to that here in Effusions, Chapter five, verse 19 says that we should be addressing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Singing You making melody to the Lord with your heart. But this can't be the only time we worship God. Throughout the week, it says in verse 20, we should be giving thanks always and for everything.

[00:46:28] To God, the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So if the one time a week that you worship is here with us when we're doing the songs and we're thinking about God through the words that are on the screen, that's not how it's supposed to be. That's clocking in time to worship, clocking out. Back to my normally scheduled life. No, as you are a worshiper of, you know, Jesus Christ. Your entire life is a response to the goodness of God to save you.

[00:47:00] And you're giving thanks always and for everything because God is always being good to you in everything. If you are a Christian person, do you believe that? Do you believe that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose? Does anybody here believe that that means that no matter what happens, if we would consider it bad, we would consider it a terrible thing to take place? I can be thankful because I know God will use evil for good. That's anybody who's in Christ Jesus. That's a promise from the scripture.

[00:47:38] That's a promise no matter what happens to you today. There is good coming through it. And you can thank God for it.

[00:47:45] That's what the Bible says. No matter what happens now, you like it. That's pretty intense, man, because there are some pretty hard things happening to a lot of people. Hey, you know what? I get that. I get to talk to some of those people when they're going through the hardest of the hard things that are happened to. If something happened here in our church, that was pretty brutal stuff, I don't know if you've heard about this or not, but we've got a family here at the church and they were going camping one weekend just trying to get away. Take some time to rest. Have a little family time. And they're out there camp and together as a as a family.

[00:48:20] And while they're there, they're a little girl, the baby of the family. She's playing with her big sister. And she's something that could happen really to kids everywhere. She falls down, except she just happens to fall and falls back into the firepit. Now, there's not a fire going in the fire pit, but there was a fire the night before and the coals are still so hot. The wood is still so hot from this fire that it burns her back. And part of her hand. Now, at first they're thinking, hey, maybe it's gonna be OK. I mean, she got burned. But maybe it's gonna be all right because it didn't even burn her clothes. It just went straight to the skin. But literally, like, the longer the burn lasts, the more severe it's getting to where it's like a second or a third degree burn on your baby girl who just fell into the fire pit while you're camping.

[00:49:11] Let me ask you, where's the good in that? Next thing you know, you're in the burn unit of the ICU. Nobody wants to be in the burn unit of the ICU, not with your baby girl. And so here I come and now we're going to start talking about it. Sitting here in the burn unit. And you know what? She's actually walking around. And she's actually pretty happy. It's almost like she doesn't even know that she got burned and the doctors are saying it could have been a lot of worse, a lot worse places that she could have been burned. And in fact, if we do this skin graft procedure, this could completely heal. So it might not even leave permanent scarring.

[00:49:53] The next thing you know, this family that I'm talking to that's starting to have like a attitude of like what God's going to use this for good.

[00:50:00] So what can we reevaluate in our life? How can this grow our faith? Hey, could we come have a meeting with you when this is all done so we can make sure we get the point of what God is teaching us so we can grow? And next thing you know, this family is literally on the CBS two News telling their story to the reporter of how their sweet little baby girl fell in the campfire so that everybody else can be warned. Hey, that can't fire you had last night. It's still hot. The next morning. So make sure this doesn't happen to your kid. And they're saying things to the news crew, like we're just thankful for God that it could have been a lot worse.

[00:50:37] And so we're so thankful for how God worked this out there, saying this on television that CBS, too, edited out the part about being thankful to God. But the cameraman heard it and the doctor heard it and he started asking a man. What church do you guys go to? Because that sounds like a church where Jesus Christ is when people can think God, when their baby girl is burning. See? Because God is good all the time. And all the time, God is good. Here's the third dash right here. His goodness never stops. The goodness never stops. You will never outlast the goodness of God. My friend. No matter what dark place you find yourself in, no matter what trial or tribulation you have to go through. Yay! Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. And let me tell you why. For you are with me.

[00:51:35] Your goodness and mercy are chasing after me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in your house forever. So, yes, I always have a reason to give thanks because God is always being good.

[00:51:53] And if I'm looking for it by faith, I will always find his goodness. And when I can't see it, I'll keep trusting that it's there and I'll thank him ahead of time for the things that he is going to show me that I can't see right now. Because if there's one thing I'm going to believe till the day I die, it's that God is good. And nothing that happens to me is going to dissuade me of that. And so I'm going to keep thinking if that's the attitude here. I got a relationship. I've got joy. I'm talking to him all of the time. And I'm just so thankful not only for the fact that he saved me.

[00:52:29] But look at all the good things he continues to do right now. And it's amazing how in the world people are dying and all of our worldly possessions are fading away all the time. And the sin of this world means that everything is deteriorating. How are so many good things continuing to happen in our lives? It's only because of God.

[00:52:51] And there's always a reason to give things. It's not that God stop being good. It's that you have stopped seeing it. So ask him to open your eyes. And find something to be thankful for. Once again, I think we have this lie that we believe and the lie that we believe is that we have free time, that we have our time, that we have personal time.

[00:53:15] That there's some kind of time that still belongs to us in some way and doesn't belong to God.

[00:53:22] That's what I think the lives that we all believe. And so so everywhere in our thinking that I'm just gonna go take a break because I need some time for myself. How often do we hear things like that coming out of our our mouths?

[00:53:38] But when does the servant get to tell the master? I'm taking a break. I'm pretty sure the master tells the servant how he's supposed to serve. So when does the Christian get to tell our Lord Jesus Christ that I'm taking a break from you Jesus right now? No, the master, the Lord Jesus gets to tell us how to live. And if we're in Christ, here's some things we're always going to be doing with no break. Joy, prayer and Thanksgiving.

[00:54:05] And if I can get honest with you guys, this is something that God had to really teach me in my life as a Christian person. And when I got married to this girl, as soon as we graduated from college, this girl I met in the dish room and I had to get a job so we could get married and I got a job my first, like, full time. No more student life, full time work and man. And they hired me to lead a high school group at this church.

[00:54:30] And so here I am working at a church with a bunch of young people trying to tell them the gospel, and the truth is, if you examine my life, when I left that church at the end of the day at five, six o'clock when I went home, I clocked out of working for that church.

[00:54:45] That's the true. In fact, that was the whole culture of that church, was people didn't work that hard at that church and the people of the church, they didn't really act like church.

[00:54:54] Was that all consuming passion of the relationship with Jesus? They just kind of came and went whenever they wanted. It was very casual Christianity. You could come and you could go as you would please.

[00:55:08] And I mean, one day I was walking along the parking lot of that church and I was so convicted when I read First Corinthians 15, 58 about always abounding in the work of the Lord. And I thought to myself, I work full time at a church and I don't even do this. I don't always work for Jesus Christ. I have time where I think that is mine. And in fact, if I don't get my time at the end of the day, I'm grumpy the people that I love. I act like why are they bothering me? Because this is my time, I actually think these things and I work at a church supposed to help other people in the name of Jesus Christ. And I walk through that parking lot and I thought to myself, if I'm going to do this for Jesus Christ, then it had better be the best that anyone has ever done. Because that's what he gave for me. He gave his all I need to give my all back to. And from that day forward, I had a new approach to life 24/7 on the clock for Jesus Christ. And he used that thought in my mind to change the way our youth ministry worked, which led me to another church where I started doing youth ministry, which led me to this passion to plant church, which has us here at this moment, all because of this one thought that I got in my head one day walking across the parking lot of the church, that when I leave this church, I don't clock out.

[00:56:28] I'm always ready to go for Jesus Christ. There is no time that exists that belongs to me anymore. And why would I want to hang out with a selfish person like that anyways? I want Jesus, I want more of him in my life. He's there all the time. I want to experience it as much as I can. Is this how you live my life? Is this how you live your life? That's how I've decided to live mine. I hope that's how you've decided to live yours. I only pray for you guys.

[00:56:57] God, thank you so much for this test. And I thank you that we can have rejoice always that we can pray without ceasing and then we can give thanks in every circumstance because you're still being good to us, to every circumstance. God, I pray that this would all center on our relationship with Jesus Christ here this morning. And we would consider a fresh what Jesus did. When he died on that cross, when he shed his blood, when he sacrificed his body. At Jesus came, he said, Might it's not my time yet. And then what he meant when when it was his time, when the time had come to do your will, that was him giving all of himself for us.

[00:57:41] Him pouring himself out on that cross.

[00:57:45] Emptying himself so that we could be full of his joy. Dying for our sins so that we could enter a relationship with you that will never be cast out of. Being good to us so that we always have a reason to give things. We praise you for what Jesus did and we want to remember it today. Stir us up in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Let us know that he's always with us and let us walk always with him 24/7. We pray this day you will make us full time for Jesus. We pray this in his name. A man we want to take communion right now. Want to give you a chance to right now give thanks for what Jesus did. He said when he took that bread in that cup in Matthew, 26, 26, and the following verses he gave thanks. And that's why sometimes communion is referred to as the Eucharist, the Greek word, which means to give thanks. This is what we do here. We think, Jesus, that he would offer this awesome relationship to us.

[00:58:43] So get that cup, get that bread, and we'll meet back together and take it all together here in a minute.

[00:59:09] Is.

[00:59:13] Uh Jesus Sher's natural.

[00:59:28] Sweet is free. On Jesus.

[00:59:42] Hone Christ. Solid rock.

[00:59:46] I stand on the ground is seeing gains since when all around my school gives away and is my hope then still.

[01:00:19] Darkness hides your face. As Daniel Unchained Jeanne.

[01:00:35] Every stormy.

[01:00:43] Anchor with the.

[01:00:53] Christ, the solid rock.

[01:00:56] I stand the ground is seeing gains when all the round my soul gives away. There is hope and stay on Christ the solid rock. I stand the ground is seeing gains in all the rest. My soul gives away and is my hope then.

[01:01:47] As we take this comedian today, let us consider that Jesus gave his all for us and let us be so thankful for what he gave and let us commit in our hearts to giving our all for him. Please take this together.

[01:02:10] Where we do come to you with so much gratitude in our hearts for what Jesus Christ has done. God, I pray that you will stir us up by way of reminder of this text here today, that our goal is to give ourselves completely to Jesus Christ, that we would be amazed by what he has done for us and that we would want to worship. We would want to give things. We would want to pray. We would want to rejoice. Because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. I thank you for his sacrifice. Thank you for his example. And let us follow after Jesus. Let us fulfill your will for us in Christ Jesus. And let us live that way. God. But only by your power and only by your grace. Can we do this or work through us. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

[01:02:59] Please stand.

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