The Way Up is Down
By Bobby Blakey on May 15, 2016
The Way Up is Down
By Bobby Blakey on May 15, 2016
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:01] It happened again this week. There was a knock on the door and I opened it up and all of a sudden I noticed, well, things have changed here in Huntington Beach.
[00:00:12] Look at all these people walking down the street wearing full length dresses and look at that guy and his tie and slacks. And why does that guy have a clipboard as if he's like counting houses? Oh, honey, the Jehovah's Witnesses are here at the door. Right. And two very sweet elderly ladies who were there. And they had a little pamphlet and they wanted to take me through their little pamphlet. Now, I've gone to people's houses. I've knocked on their doors. We like to go out on Saturday mornings into the community and invite our neighbors to church. And we have the ice cream truck and we give away free ice cream. And so I've had many doors slammed in my face. And so when people come to my house, I try to be friendly. I don't know. I'll call me old fashioned. Right.
[00:00:53] And so I went along with their little pamphlet and they said, do you think it's going to get better, worse or stay the same? And I was like, oh, let me tell you, it's going to get a lot worse, don't you think? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So what do you think? And then they started to read some Bible passages and they said we should trust the Bible.
[00:01:13] And they started to talk about Jesus and they told me I should go to this Web site, J.W. dot org. And I'm nodding my head and I'm smiling and I'm being friendly. And the lady literally says to me, Oh, I like you. You're nice. You know, she says that they were forming a connection. And right when she said, I need you to go to this Web site, J.W., dawg, I said, I can't do that.
[00:01:36] I'm not a Jehovah's Witness. So I believe the Jesus is God. And she said, well, Jesus is the son of God.
[00:01:43] And we began right there, the debate that we have as Christians versus Jehovah's Witnesses as to the identity of Jesus, Jehovah's Witnesses saying that Jesus was created by God and then Jesus created the rest of the world, that Jesus is in the category of created beings.
[00:02:00] And I said, I can't handle that. I believe in the Trinity. And that was like a buzzword, right?
[00:02:04] Oh, no.
[00:02:07] And the lady looked at me very sweet and she said, well, you know, one plus one plus one that doesn't equal one.
[00:02:21] And I said, actually, can we open our Bibles to Matthew? Twenty eight. And we look at the great commission. You guys maybe you guys know it, right? Jesus says we should go and make disciples of all nations. They're right there with me right quote now with me baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
[00:02:38] Now, can I just ask you a question? How many names does it say there are there? Because it's got the father and it's got the son and it's got the Holy Spirit. And yet it says in the name, in the singular.
[00:02:52] So I guess here's one place where one plus one plus one equals one.
[00:03:02] Oh, you're nice. I like you. And if you, like, left my house like they come back. You came here to talk to me. Don't leave. Here you go. Now, this is just getting good.
[00:03:17] If Jesus is just a son of God and he is not God, if there is no Trinity, then everything we're doing here is idolatry. Does everybody understand that if Jesus is not God and we just sang songs about Jesus to exalt and worship him, if Jesus is not God, then we're all idolaters here because God will not share his glory with anyone. And so we're here to worship Jesus. And in Jesus could say things like in John 17, that he and the father shared glory before the foundation of the world. Then Jesus must be God. That's what we believe here at the church, and that's what our text is going to say, that the son of man should be glorified just like the father is glorified. With me to John, Chapter twelve. And let's look at picking it up in verse 20. We're gonna just get to 28 here. Really the first part of a two part sermon here. And we're going to see that Jesus has no problem saying that it's time for him to be glorified. And then also he clearly wants to glorify the father and because they are one. And is it OK for us to talk about glorifying the father, the son or the spirit? Because they share glory as God and even it says as his people, we might end up sharing his glory as well. And so let's read our passage. It's kind of a familiar idea in our text, but a very unfamiliar context, not a passage that maybe you're familiar with. But once you get to what it's about, you'll see that it's a tried and true theme of Jesus Christ. This is John. Chapter twelve, verse 20 says now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Beth Sayda in Galilee, and asked him, Sir, we wish to see Jesus. So Philip went and told Andrew, Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus and Jesus answered them. The hour has come for the son of man. That's how Jesus like to refer to himself for the son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly. I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it. And whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me. And where I am there will my servant be. Also, if anyone serves me, the father will honor him. Now, is my soul troubled? And what shall I say, father? Saved me from this hour. But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name. Then a voice came from heaven.
[00:06:14] I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.
[00:06:19] Now it's all we're gonna be able to get into this morning.
[00:06:22] But we see this interesting occasion here. Maybe not really a story you're familiar with in the Bible where some Greeks seek out Jesus. Now he's just come into Jerusalem. It's the feast of the Passover. They just made this big deal about Jesus riding into town on a donkey. They were shouting Hosanna! Like he was the king who was coming to take over, who was common to reign. And then it transitions from that to some Greeks trying to seek him. And it's I don't at first, it's kind of puzzling. Well, what is the significance of these Greeks? We don't really get a conversation with the Greeks in Jesus. So what's really going on there? But it seems like a big deal because in verse twenty three Jesus answer them when his two disciples, Philip and Andrew, come to him. On behalf of these Greeks, Jesus starts to say The hour has come. Matthew, know the gospel of John and this is our thirty third sermons. We've been studying it here for a while. Thirty third sermon from the Gospel of John Jesus has made it very clear multiple times that my time has not yet come.
[00:07:27] And so now all of a sudden he's going to start acting like the hours come, the time is here. Just cause these Greeks are seeking him. So there must be some significance to these Greeks.
[00:07:39] So go back to chapter two, verse four, because when Jesus his own mom came and asked him to do his first miracle at the wedding at Cana, where he turned the water into wine because they ran out of wine at the wedding. Here's his own mom coming to him and Jesus his response to her instigating this miracle, saying he should do something about the no wine problem there at the wedding. Jesus said to her, This is John, chapter two, verse four. Jesus said to her woman, What does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come. Hey, what are you trying to give me to do this miracle for this, isn't it? This isn't the time. This isn't the hour. So here's his own mom saying something to him and he's like, not my time has not yet come. Now, he did end up doing the miracle, but he's clear. It's not my time. Go to chapter seven, verse 30, and you'll see that at this point, Jesus has gotten some enemies. He's doing miracles. People are believing they're following him. That's the point of the gospel of John Jesus does signs and the signs are supposed to cause us to believe and we believe so that we might have eternal life. That's the whole point. And it's happening and enemies start to emerge. These religious leaders of the Jews, these Pharisees who don't like that people are following after Jesus. And so it says in John seven, verse 30, that these leaders, the religious leaders of the day, were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him because his what his hour had not yet gone. So here's now his mom saying do this. And he's like, not my our. Here's his enemies coming and trying to arrest him. And they can't get him because it's not his. Our look at the very next chapter, chapter eight, verse 20, where he's doing more, speaking right there in the middle of the town, in the in the Treasury of the of the temple. And and everybody can hear what he's saying. And the people want to arrest him, but they can't. It says in John 80-20, they no one arrested him because his hour had not yet come. And then all of a sudden, some Greeks go to Phillip, who goes to Andrew and Phillip and Andrew come to Jesus if you go back to Chapter 12. And I does it's not even clear if Jesus ends up talking to the Greeks or not. But as soon as he hears that the Greeks want to see him, he starts saying all of a sudden, my hour has come. Now is the time for the son of man to be glorified. That's my cue. This is the hour.
[00:10:12] So why why this? Why all of a sudden?
[00:10:15] I mean, a lot of the gospel of John has been addressing Jesus his interaction with the Jewish people. That was our our last passage. They want him to be the king of Israel. Why? When some gentiles, some some foreigners, some Greeks come and and we don't really know what the Greeks were seeking from Jesus, but it says they wanted to see him. But that's all we get. We don't really know why they went to fill up. We don't really know why Philip went to Andrew, except that Philip and Andrew have to have the most Greek sounding names of all the disciples, if that has anything to do with it. I think Philip means a lover of horses, which I guess, you know, why wouldn't you be a lover of horses? So I guess that makes sense. But it's not I mean, it's not clear what the Greeks are trying to do, what Philip and Andrew are trying to do, but it triggers something in the mind of Jesus. I mean, there's no more follow up with the Greeks throughout the rest of the chapter. But it triggers something in Jesus. And he begins to say, now is the time and he begins to speak. And even the father ends up speaking from heaven. And I think really the point here, if you jump down diverse 30 to this is where it really where our text is going is when he says in I when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to my self. OK, so it's very interesting because if you look back at verse 13, we were just ready to make him the king of Israel is what we called him. But now when he's coming in, he's saying the time has come for me to be glorified and I'm going to draw all peoples to myself as if being the king of Israel is not what I'm here to do. What I'm here to do is be the savior of the world, of all nations. That just a cross reference you can write down in Mark Levin after the triumphant entry when Jesus comes in and they say Hosanna and they want to make him king. He goes to the temple and he clears out the money changers in the temple.
[00:12:14] And he says that his father's house is supposed to be a house of prayer for all nations. So you got a crowd saying, we want to make you the king of Israel. And Jesus starts to put out a very clear intent that I'm not just here for Israel, I'm here to draw all people to myself. It's supposed to be a house of prayer for all nations.
[00:12:38] And in fact, verse 33. And John Twelve's says he said this, that I will be lifted up from the Earth and will draw all people to myself. He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die because the phrase there for lifted up used throughout the gospel of John is talking about being lifted up to be crucified on a cross. So this is a shocking turn of events. We're ready to make this guy king of our nation, Israel. And now he says he wants to draw all peoples, all nations to himself by dying on a cross. Talk about a plot twist right there. These people this is not what they were hoping to hear. I don't know that they were concerned. They definitely didn't think a king was going to die. They're their messiah was coming to die. They didn't foresee that. And they definitely weren't concerned about reaching all nations. Unfortunately, the Jewish people had become very focused in the glory of their nation when really the promise to Father Abraham was they were supposed to be a light and a blessing to all of the nations. It was never just supposed to be about the people of Israel. They were supposed to be the ones showing who God is and shining the light of God to the world. And yet they had just come zeroed in on their own glory and their own national sovereignty and their own king.
[00:14:00] And that's what they wanted. And Jesus is redirecting the focus here. We're going to go after all peoples. No, I'm going to die. And I'm dying so that people of every nation, every tribe and every tongue would come and worship Jesus. You want to have a multicultural experience. You want to see real racial diversity die and go to heaven. It's going to be the most diverse place you've ever seen in your life. People of all different kinds giving glory to the one who came to save them, see, Jesus has a really different view of glory than maybe what you and I think about it. Now is the time for the son of man to be glorified. You're like, okay, you're going to be high and lifted up. You're gonna be exalted. What's that going to look like? Death on a cross. That's what it's going to look like. Real interesting interpretation of glory that Jesus has.
[00:14:52] Go back to Isaiah Chapter fifty to go to the Old Testament with me. And let's see where this idea of being lifted up. This idea of that that glory would also be involved in dying on the cross. Isaiah, 53. We know if you come to church much at all, it's one of the most famous prophecies of the Old Testament, talking about Jesus being crushed and being pierced, describing what sounds like crucifixion. And he's doing it for us, for our sin and all. We, like sheep, have gone astray. Every one of us has fallen short of the glory of God. We're not good compared to God. We've gone our own way. And we need a savior. And Jesus comes in and like a lamb, that's led to the slaughter. He dies in our place. But look, go back to Chapter 52, because really the prophecy of Isaiah 53 begins in chapter 52, verse 13. So if you're not familiar with that, you might want to write in your Bible that Isaiah 52 13 is really the beginning of the Isaiah 53 prophecy. So it's one of those places where the chapter break might actually confuse you and you might miss the beginning of the part about Jesus dying on the cross and rising again while it starts right here in Isaiah 52 13. And it says, behold, my servant shall act wisely or shall have success. He shall be high and lifted up and shall be exalted. Now, that's a crazy verse when you realize what it's really saying is he's gonna be high and lifted up like he's going to die. And then he's going to be exalted. He's going to be glorified. So it might sound like it's all talking about one thing high and lifted up and exalted. But when you get to the gospel of John, lift it up means dying crucifixion on a cross. And then you see that in the next couple of verses, that contrast. And as many were astonished at you, his appearance, here's Jesus on the cross. The servant who came to suffer before he was glorified part of being glorified meant suffering. And as many were astonished at you, his appearance as they looked at Jesus on the cross. His appearance was so marred beyond human semblance. He didn't even look like a human up. There is form beyond that of the children of mankind. I mean, he's so bloody and so beaten up that you can barely even recognize him. It's astonishing. But then it says in verse fifteen. So shall he sprinkle or start many nations? In fact, kings shall set their mouths because of him for that which has not been told them they see in that which they have not heard. They understand. So here's someone who's gonna be lifted up to die. And it's going to be shocking, kind of how gross and graphic it is. And yet he's going to start all kings and and even kings aren't going to know what to do about this guy because he's going to be exalted.
[00:17:39] To the way to glory always goes through suffering, if you want to get to heaven, you got to go through the cross, say the way up is actually you got to go down.
[00:17:51] And a lot of times as Christians, we don't even present that accurately to people. We look at people like the question is, hey, do you want to go to heaven when you die? Like, that's the question that we're asking people. Like, where would you prefer to go when you die? If the choices are eternal pleasure in the presence of God or eternal torment apart from God? Well, any rational, sane person who's not messing around, they're going to choose. I'd rather go to a good place than a bad place. That's not really the question that is presented when it comes to Christianity. It's actually a little bit misleading when you just ask people where do they want to go when they die? Because go back to John Twelve. And look how Jesus puts it here. It's really interesting because as he says, now is the time I'm gonna be glorified. I'm going to be lifted up. I'm going to draw all people to myself. It's it's time to die. As he clearly has that thought in his mind, he speaks straight to us. In fact, verse 24, he says, truly, truly, I say to you, which is how he always prefaces something that might be hard for us to believe, but he wants us to believe it. So he says, truly, truly. I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Now, that's clearly an analogy that Jesus is making for himself. If I just keep living my life, that's not the purpose that I came for. But if I die, if I offer my life in death, then there will be much fruit. Many will be saved. I will draw peoples, all nations, tribes and tongues to myself.
[00:19:25] So if I really want to be glorified, if I really want to save many souls, will first I have to die. That's the analogy. And then it comes right after you and he comes right after me and he makes it not just about him and what he's about to do, but he speaks to us. Look at verse twenty five. Whoever loves his life loses it. And whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Now, if anyone serves me, he must follow me. If you want to be one of my people. You've got to serve me. You've got to follow me. And where I am. They're my servant will also be. In fact, if you serve me, the father will honor him. Hey, this dying to see the glory of God, this suffering so that many can be saved. That's not just for me to do. Jesus is saying I'm the example. And if you want to be my servant, if you want to be my follower, you too will have to suffer. You will have to die if you want to be with me. And those who follow me down this path, well, the father will honor you. I mean, it says that those who humble themselves will be what you'll be exalted.
[00:20:29] See, a way to get to heaven is not, hey, do you want to go there? Would you prefer heaven over hell when you die? That's not really the question. The question is, do you love this life or do you hate this life? That's the question that Jesus gives us here.
[00:20:42] What do you think about this life now, where do you want to go when you die? What do you think about this life right now? Because if you love your life right now, if you think you good and you've got it going on and everything's OK with you just being you, well, then you're gonna lose your life.
[00:20:55] Jesus says. But if you hate this life, you know, this language that he uses here. If you hate this life. If you hate this life in the world.
[00:21:05] Well, look what he says right there in verse 25. Well, anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
[00:21:14] See, this might be an unfamiliar passage with these Greeks seeking Jesus and him saying, it's my hour and I'm going to be glorified. And what does that mean while I'm going to die? That's actually what it means. You might not be familiar with that context, but isn't this starting to sound familiar right here? I mean, what is Jesus say in Matthew, Mark Luke? If anyone wants to come after me. He must not deny himself. Take up his cross and follow me. There's only one way to heaven, and it's the way that Jesus got there. There's only one way to glory. And it's through suffering and death. And if you want to go to heaven, you got to hate this life. So it says you've got to hate your life actually in this world would be a better way to say.
[00:21:54] So you can't just say yes to Jesus. You can't just say I want to go to heaven. I believe in heaven. It sounds better than hell. Sign me up. Can I have a ticket, please? What do I need to pray? I'd like to go to heaven. That's not really how it's how it's put right here. If you're gonna say yes to Jesus, then you've got to say no to yourself right now.
[00:22:12] You've got to say no to this life. Let's get that down for point number one, to say yes to Jesus. You have to say no to yourself, OK?
[00:22:19] If you want to keep eternal life, then you have to hate your life in this world. That's the paradigm there. And Jesus is very clear that those who try to save their life in this life right now, in the present age, if you're trying to save your life right now, you're going to lose it. But those who lose their life right now, those who give their life away right now, those who are willing to suffer, to die for Jesus Christ, to lose all things in the here and now, they will be saved. I mean, this is the message of Jesus Christ. He says this every time he gets a chance and every gospel, he lays it out like this that if you want to gain your life in the next life, you've got to lose your life in this life. And is it gonna be worth it to you to gain Jesus and to see his glory and experience him in eternity to lose this life? Right now, it's gonna cost you now to get there later. That's the true message of Christianity. And we haven't done a good job of representing that in a lot of people haven't done a good job of responding to that. If you are a Christian here and it has not ever cost you anything to follow Jesus, I'm very concerned about your kind of Christianity because I don't read about it in the Bible.
[00:23:34] The idea in the scripture is that if you're going to follow Jesus, you're going to lose. There's going to be cost in the here and now to gain Jesus. You're going to have to suffer the loss of things. So let me ask you this. What have you lost to gain Jesus Christ? What if you left behind to follow Jesus Christ? There is always a cost when it comes to following Jesus.
[00:23:57] And we got to be so clear about this guy.
[00:24:00] We are not promising your best life now here at this church. We're not saying that if you believe in Jesus, things are going to get better. No, we're saying if you believe in Jesus here today and you give your life to him, it's gonna feel like you just lost something. It cost you something.
[00:24:15] That's what it's going to feel like.
[00:24:17] And it's important that people know this because I've seen this recently and and I'm so glad that this is in our text today, because this has been so on my heart to share with our church. I've seen some people who've come here to this church and they have started out and bam, they want to live for Jesus Christ.
[00:24:33] But not everybody that they know and love wants to live for Jesus Christ. And a lot of times it's even spouses or or people maybe who aren't even married, but they've been acting like spouses in their lives. And now one of them gets saved and they want to in a right motive and a godly motive out of love.
[00:24:54] They would love to see their spouse also get saved. And so they reach out to their spouse and they want to bring their spouse with them here to the church. And they and they really want to see their spouse join them in salvation. And what I see happen is it starts out with this good intention, like, let's go reach my spouse, let's get my spouse right there with me. But as they reach out to their spouse, maybe their spouse even comes to church a few times, but their spouse doesn't decide they want to follow Jesus.
[00:25:22] They want to keep live in the way that they live and they want to keep going down the same path that they're going on.
[00:25:27] So they're kind of humor in this Jesus thing and this going to church thing a little bit. They don't want to they don't want to be mean about it, but they're not really interested in themself. And what I see is that the spouse or the person in that relationship starts to get sucked back into their old life by maybe their own husband or wife. But maybe somebody they love and they had a good intention to reach that person. But now really what they've done is they've kind of just put themselves right next to that person. And that person isn't following Jesus and they're kind of ending up getting caught in that. And I start to see them at church less and less, and I start to see him kind of wandering away. And the next time you talk to him, they don't even see super sure about following Jesus themself because they've kind of gone back into their old life. So you don't here's what I'm telling you. If you're going to follow Jesus, you might lose your spouse. So I'm saying, like, you might lose people that you love your kids like people that you've loved all your life, your parents, they might be right there with you. And then you decide, no, I'm going to follow Jesus. And then all of a sudden, it costs you your most personal relationships and you've got to decide. I mean, there's people in this room right now that are making a life DSF or death decision based on Christ or my spouse. Who am I going to choose ultimately?
[00:26:36] To give my life to. And that's exactly how Jesus wants it, if Jesus isn't going to be first place in your life. He's not coming in any other place in your life.
[00:26:45] He makes it very clear if he's not your number one relationship, then you don't really have a relationship. Go to Luke, Chapter 14. And we just got to bring up something that's so important that we want to say to everybody who gets baptized, everybody who says they want to be saved in praise of prayer here at this church, everybody who is calling themself a Christian here at Compas HDB, we want to make sure that you count the costs. That's what Jesus wanted. People who were following him to do the cost of being a disciple. It says in Luke 14, verse 25. Now, great crowds accompanied him and he turned and said to them, Now, just before we even get to what he says here, let's just consider the context. We're talking about a height of popularity. We're talking about we've got some serious mojo going right now. We've got great crowds. And that's the same as our passage. We got people shout out, save us. Now you're going to be the king of Israel. I mean, Jesus fever in Jerusalem as at an all time high. I mean, more people are on the Jesus bus right now than any other time. I mean, it's all time high for Jesus popularity in Jerusalem. And here it is right here, a great crowd is accompanying him and Luke, 14, 25. You got to pay attention to in Jesus. Gets to speak to great crowds to in Jesus. Gets popular. He always goes right after those crowds. He doesn't dumb it down. He doesn't say, hey, I want everybody to. If you're interested in following me, I want you to come forward right now and repeat this prayer after me. That's not Jesus his style. He didn't get that from him. Now he starts going after them all you guys think you're all about me? Well, let's just make it clear. Verse 26, if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters. Yes. And even his own life. He cannot be my disciple. Not even allowed. Don't even try to start following me unless you're ready to. Hey, all of your other relationships, even just as he said in John's well, even your own life, you got to hate your life to go to heaven. Is the idea here? If you want to follow Jesus, you got to you got to leave your life behind. Now, we know from the rest of scripture. Let me ask you guys this question. Is Jesus encouraging us to actually hate our parents, our spouses or our kids? What do we think? You know, we were very clear. We love God with all of our heart. That's the greatest commander. And the second commandment is we love our neighbor as our as ourself. Right. So this is in actually encouraging us to be argumentative with any family member or to be mean spirited or condescending or judge mental to any family member in the name of Jesus Christ. We're not about that at all. We want to be humble. We want to be loving to our family members. Definitely.
[00:29:34] But what it's saying is when you choose Christ over your family member, how it's going to come across to them as you go spend time maybe at church as you go spend time in the world as you want to go talk to more people about Jesus as they see your heart being drawn after a greater love than the love that you have for them. How is that going to feel for your spouse or your kids or your parents over here when you start, like, moving and start associating with these people and you can't make it to as many family gatherings because you want to be over here at church and you start calling the people at church, your family. How's that going to feel to your relatives over here?
[00:30:10] It's got to feel like you're rejecting them.
[00:30:12] It's gonna feel like you've chosen someone else over them and it's gonna feel to them like hate, like rejection. And that's exactly how Jesus intends it to be. Make no mistake. If you're not willing to suffer the loss of close personal relationships, if you're not even willing to hate your own life, to lose yourself identity, that you can even call it your life anymore.
[00:30:36] And you cannot be as disciple.
[00:30:39] I mean, this is what he says at the height of his popularity. If you don't hate your life in this world, then you cannot follow me. You won't have eternal life.
[00:30:50] So Jesus is 100 percent clear about this, and we need to be 100 percent here, clear it here at this church, that it is going to cost you to follow Jesus Christ. And let's just start making a list of things it might cost you. Number one is personal relationships under under point number one, what might it cost? What might you have to pay to follow Jesus? What might it look like for you to hate your life in this world? It might cost you personal relationships.
[00:31:20] And that's something you've got to ask yourself if if you're really willing to suffer. And one thing that you might even want to think about is if you're not willing to talk to your parents, your spouse, your kids, if you're not willing to share with them your faith in Jesus, if you just want to keep it silent and away from them. Is that even a part of you compromising right there? Because Jesus is saying that he's got to be first place. He's got to be the love of your heart with all your heart. You follow after him. And there's no room left for for idolizing other people and comparison to Jesus Christ. That can't be a competition in your heart between Jesus and anyone else.
[00:32:00] Jesus has to win that battle for your heart. He's going to be jealous for his glory if you're given your attention to anyone else. Now it says you've got to hate perhaps other people.
[00:32:11] You might lose those relationships. You might lose even your own life. The idea? Maybe you have a certain dream. So let's even let's even write down our second dash here, our own self identity, my own like my own independent life might be a way to set the idea that I could move wherever I want and do whatever I want and be whoever I want. While I lose that, I lose myself. Well, when I when I'm in Christ, I'm a new creation in Christ. My old life goes away in my new life in Christ, where he now calls the shots. He's now my boss. I live like he is my lord.
[00:32:45] So I lose myself identity. Are you OK with that? Are you ready to suffer the loss of that? And then it says in verse twenty seven, whoever it is not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. And this is before he dies on the cross. This is before it's this beautiful religious symbol of our salvation.
[00:33:07] And people wanted to make it jewelry or they wanted to put it out in front of the church. Now, this is when it's still just the guillotine. This is when it's the electric chair. This is when it's the firing squad. This is when it's just the most brutal way to kill people we've ever come up with in the history of planet Earth crucifixion.
[00:33:25] Now, it's very clear, if you want to follow me, you've got to be willing to die, is the idea.
[00:33:32] Like, your life's over from that point on and you have a new life, a life that you now live in me and I live through you, a life that's more focused on eternal heavenly things than it is on the here and now. You got the only way to Glory's death.
[00:33:48] That's what Jesus is saying.
[00:33:50] And then he kind of gives us an analogy here, look at verse 28 for which of you desiring to build a tower does not first sit down and count the cost. That's what we call this passage. You've got to count the cost. We're going to build a big building. All right. We're going to put Trump up there on the top of the building. Well, let's make sure we can build this thing. For which of you desiring to build a tower does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he is enough to complete it. Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish all who see it begin to mock him, saying this man began to build and was not able to finish. Now, I personally haven't been building many buildings in my life. I don't know if you've built some buildings, but can you imagine the public shame and mockery that would come to one Donald Trump if he ever built one of those buildings and he put Trump at the top and gold and then it was a hollow building that he didn't have enough money to finish. All the whole world would have a great day with that one, right?
[00:34:43] That's what he said. Hey. Don't be a fool who says I'm going to build a tower. I want to build something really high that goes up into the sky, kind of like I'm going to build a life that goes to heaven. Hey, make sure you're really willing to pay what it costs.
[00:34:57] It's going to cost something. There's going to be some suffering, there's going to be some pain. There's no way to to sugarcoat Christianity. It's going to it's going to feel sour sometimes.
[00:35:07] And are you willing to pay that?
[00:35:10] It gives another analogy, verse 31 or what King going out to encounter another king in war will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able, with 10000 to meet him, who comes against him with 20000 and if not while the other. Is it yet a great way off? He sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Now, I have never been a king in command of an army, but I can imagine if I've got an army of 10000 hand-to-hand combat soldiers and you over here have an army of 20000 hand-to-hand combat soldiers. So we're looking at it two to one ratio here. And you and I meet now in the middle to discuss the terms of peace. What kind of peace do you want from me? They're going to be a mutual 50 50 peace when you've got 20 thousand and I've got 10000.
[00:36:02] Or am I going to surrender and wave my white flag? That's what it is. You realize I can't live this life my way.
[00:36:11] I can't really save myself. I can't really hang on to my life. No, inevitably, I'm going to lose it. And the only one who can really save me, the one who was more power than I do. The one who is saving power. See, that's the Lord. And if I'm going to make peace with him, I have to surrender my life to him.
[00:36:29] I have to renounce all that I have. So another dash here is your possessions. All the you have your material possessions, your house, your car, your bow, whatever, whatever. You got it. Maybe you don't have have a life. You got a motorcycle. I don't know what you got. Right. But whatever you got, you might have to. You might have to renounce it. You might have to say no to it. You might have to. And you might have to give it away. It no longer becomes about you or your relationships or your possession. And you no longer even have your own life because the life that you now live, you live by faith in the son of God who died for you and rose again. And it's his life now in you and who here is ready to say, I hate my life in this world because I want to keep eternal life with Jesus Christ? We got anybody ready to say that here today? Because that's how you get to heaven. It's not about whether you want to go to heaven or hell when you die. It's about the love or hate this life. Now go back to John, Chapter twelve. And now that we've presented Christianity the right way and it's for all of us to make sure that we are counting the cost and we are willing to suffer the loss of all things, well, now we can start talking about the glory here. And it's interesting how in this passage that's challenging us to serve and to follow towards death, towards losing our life, towards aiding our life. Look what Jesus says. You can tell that it was no easy thing for Jesus to die for us on the cross. He says now, is my soul troubled? And what shall I say, Father? Save me from this hour.
[00:38:02] And we know that's something he thought about saying.
[00:38:05] If you've ever read the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gas, Salmoni, he says this cup that he asked to drink the cup of God's wrath for our sin, the cup that Jesus drank on the cross. Was he experienced not only the physical pain, but the judgment of God for our sin. And he said, if you're willing, take this cup and let it pass from me, man, my favorite place to go in Israel and we're we're going to announce hopefully soon on a trip to Israel sometime in the future, start pinching your pennies if you want to go to the Garden of Gas, SALMONI And you want to be there where Jesus is lying down on the ground. And he says to the Lord in prayer the night before he dies.
[00:38:44] Yet not as I will, but as you will. Not my will be done, but your will be done. Don't save me from this hour for this purpose. I came for this our father glorify your day.
[00:39:05] That's what he says and what's amazing. Man, I wish this would happen when I pray sometimes or when we pray here at church. There's a voice that comes from heaven.
[00:39:14] I have glorified it and I will glorify it again. Talk about a little booyah. You know what I mean? You don't need to say man at the end of that prayer area. Go.
[00:39:25] Bother glorify. See, why in the world would you be willing to lose the relationships with people you love and even your own identity and the stuff you've got in this life? Maybe even your own life? Why would you be willing to suffer the loss of all those things? Because you believe the glory of God is worth living for. In fact, you could say that you do all things whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, you do it all to the glory of God because you found something worth losing your life for. You found that that pearl of great price, that treasure that's hidden in a field, something I'll go sell everything I've got if I can just buy this in, what is worth it.
[00:40:08] The glory of God. That's why Jesus is willing to die. As he wants to experience the glory of God, he knows that after the humbling is the exaltation, after the death is the resurrection.
[00:40:22] After he is lifted up on the cross, he will be exalted and given the name that is above every name. See, the glory of God has to be your motive. If you're going to make it as a Christian, point number two, let's get it down like this. We need to stay motivated by glory. This is really a personal question for every one of us. Can I say that my life is bringing glory to God?
[00:40:47] God has all glory. The Earth is full of the glory of the Lord. You can see it in creation. You could see it in the way that God is working as he's saving souls and as he's turning hearts to himself. You can see the glory of God out there. It's already his. It already belongs to him. But does your life line up with giving God the glory, ascribing him his glory, acknowledging him the glory that is due, his name? And is that really the whole direction and purpose of your life is you want to see and behold and participate in and share in the glory of God?
[00:41:21] That's the goal.
[00:41:22] And so Jesus here, he can say in a moment of great suffering and where he's about to suffer and all of that, that weight of bearing the sins of the world on his shoulders, he can say even in that moment, not my will, but your will be done. No, it's not about save me from this hour. It's about in this hour of suffering right now. Exalt your name. Glorify your name. Hallowed be your name is basically what Jesus is saying. Saying I don't live for a purpose of pleasing myself, for being happy, you're trying to be rich or trying to have people like me, I don't live for any of those purposes anymore. I live for one purpose now. Greater purpose, I believe. And that is to exalt God and to give him the glory and all things.
[00:42:10] And is that your purpose? And if that's not your purpose, you don't want to go to heaven. Haven't I haven't. Sounds like a place where everybody's worshiping God. Why do you want to go there if you're not about his glory? I've heard people say, oh, I haven't. Sounds kind of boring, are all. And we're just going to worship God all the time. Really? Like, that's it.
[00:42:27] There's no football or romance or I mean, well what's going on? You know, do eat food. I mean, that's a really big question. Do we eat food? Right. Well, I'm pretty sure that the life that God designed that we experience in a fallen world, I'm pretty sure the life that he designs in a perfect environment is going to be better than the life we've got right now. Anybody want to say I'm into that arena? But I don't think the perks of heaven are the main reason we should want to go there. No, that's exactly why I want to go there, because it's going to be a worship service like nothing I've ever seen, like no church experience I've ever had, like no concert or movie or anything that you could do down here. Presidential inauguration. I mean, picture the biggest moments that we have down here on Earth, and they're not going to be anything like beholding the glory of God.
[00:43:12] And seeing him in words that we can't even really use to describe things down here like Majesty and Splendor and awesomeness, say.
[00:43:23] That's what I want to see. Like, I'm kind of I'm kind of a passionate about it.
[00:43:28] I kind of get zealous about it. In fact, when I see people trying to glorify themselves or worshiping idols or exalting the things of man or exalting their family or their own possessions or themselves above God, it really kind of bothers me and it makes me jealous. And I feel like that's not the way it's supposed to be. And I hate it because God alone is supposed to get the glory.
[00:43:47] And I long for a place where that's so.
[00:43:50] I long for a place where it will be in heaven, where I wish it could be on earth as it isn't heaven, but because it's not on Earth as it is in heaven, I want to go to heaven. And until then, I hope the earth becomes a little bit more like heaven, which is why pray every day. Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven, because that's really where I ultimately want to get. And if Earth right now could become a little bit more like heaven, where we could see your glory and your kingdom could come and you could save people and your will could be done as your Christian people obey you and exalt you and do all things to glorify, you will make Earth just a little bit more like having give us a glimpse, because that's really where we want to be. Is in your presence experiencing your glory?
[00:44:33] Jesus said he's going to go back to the glory of the father, the glory that they had before the foundation of the world, and they're going to share in that glory together. And then he says, God, I want us to give the glory. And so that it can be shared with us, his people. That's what Jesus says. And John, 17, we're gonna get there.
[00:44:50] That the glory that God has in the Trinity that he shares, that no one else can have. He wants to invite us in heaven to participate in his glory, to experience his glory with no vale, with nothing holding us back. We will behold the glory of the Lord. We will be made like him in his glorious image. What an amazing thing. How could anything down here even compare? Why would you settle for anything in this life when you've got the glory of God to look forward to?
[00:45:21] And so good to back you Chapter six, because what Jesus does here is he gives us the ultimate example of how to pray. And if you're gonna be a disciple of Jesus, you need to know how to pray. And if we haven't counted the cost here at this church and if we don't know how to pray here at this church, then we aren't going to do anything to make disciples and exalt the name of Jesus. And we've got to make sure that we have counted the costs, that we are suffering loss. And if you're a Christian person here and we've had so many people come and get plugged into home fellowship groups and sign up to serve in the last couple of weeks, it's been really exciting.
[00:45:54] But if you want to really be a part of making disciples here in Huntington Beach and the number one thing we need you to do to contribute to what's going on here is we need you to pray. That's the main thing we need everybody in this church to do. In fact, also go so far as to say as if this church will become a church where people pray the way Jesus teaches us to pray every single day, we will see amazing things happen, like if we only get one thing right. And it's prayer. The Lord will answer those prayers and take care of everything else.
[00:46:25] Like the most important thing that you could do. To make Disciples of Jesus here in Huntington Beach is to pray in the way that Jesus teaches his disciples to pray. And Luke eleven, it says that they ask him, Lord, teach us to pray. Show us how to pray. And he says here in Matthew, chapter six, verse nine, pray then like this. Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name. You know what? Another way you could say that is glorify your name. And it's not about me. It's not about if I'm suffering right now.
[00:46:57] And when you come to God, if you do pray, when you come to God and pray, what do you bring first, your needs or God's glory? Which one do you bring to God in prayer?
[00:47:07] Now. I mean, I have a lot of needs. You have a lot of needs. We need to bring our needs before the Lord and it gets to that. Give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. But the point of me praying is not so that God would address my needs. The point of me praying is I want to see the glory of God on Earth as it is in heaven.
[00:47:32] And my needs are very small compared to the vast awesomeness that I want to see in God doing God kind of things that can't be explained any other way.
[00:47:44] Manhatta, people who lose their their children learn to trust God.
[00:47:50] How do you explain something like that when when your life is getting worse, you're trusting in God and your relationship with him is getting better? How do you how do you make sense out of something like that?
[00:48:00] That's the power of God. That's the glory of God that we saw right there.
[00:48:04] That's his kingdom coming as salvation is increased to more people, that's his will being done as people repent of their sins and by faith begin to have obedience coming out of their hearts in the name of Jesus Christ. And I know we've maybe you've heard before here at this church how we are to pray that we start with God's requests before our requests and his glory being seen is our primary concern. Well, man, if we don't pray this way, if this isn't our passion, our heartbeat, then we're going to have a hard time following Jesus, because in his most intense moment, he's through his need. Out the window and said it's not about saving me from this hour. It's about glorifying yourself in this hour.
[00:48:47] And who here is ready to do that?
[00:48:50] When we come to Jesus, when life is beaten us up and we're having a hard time. Are we ready to say it's not about me and my need, but, God, if there's a problem that I'm going through, if there's a trial, a temptation? If I'm suffering right now, can you use my suffering for your glory? God, don't even save me from this suffering. If the purpose of this suffering is to glorify your name. Then keep me in the suffering to glorify your name.
[00:49:18] Can we put God's glory above our own knee? That's what Jesus does right here. Don't save me from this hour. Glorify your name a not as I will, but as you will. I could eat this cup could pass for me. It's really hard, but not as I will as you will. That has to be our prayer. And so are we praying that I'm not talking about. Do we know we should pray that I'm asking you if this week you prayed this way that you would see God's glory? Because here's what I guarantee you. I promise you this. If you pray to see God's glory, if you tell me, what are you going to say?
[00:49:56] Oh, man.
[00:49:59] Well, I find that the times I don't really see the God's glory, I can directly trace it back to. I haven't continued to pray with the same passion to see his glory and the times where I do pray with a passion to see his glory. Guess what?
[00:50:12] I end up seeing his glory. Did you believe that? Do you have the faith to see that? I mean, Jesus is about do they want to make him king?
[00:50:22] And so few Greeks. A few people that are just like a part of the crowd. They come up and they seek him out. I don't know if even ends up talking to these Greeks, but just the thought of the Greeks, of the foreigners of the rest of the world. And he says, no, I'm not here to be king.
[00:50:36] I'm here to suffer.
[00:50:38] I'm the grain of wheat that's got to go into the ground and got to die so that there can be much fruit borne so I can draw all peoples to myself.
[00:50:47] So lift me up on that cross and I'm willing to suffer as long as God is glorified.
[00:50:52] Don't save me from the hour. Glorify your name. And here's what's going to happen to you if you pray. Father. Hallowed be your name. Glorify your name. He might not say it in a voice from heaven, but he will answer your prayer. He will show you that God always gets the glory.
[00:51:08] Every time. That's what he lives for. That's why he created us. That's why he created the world. The whole purpose of everything is God getting the glory. Anybody want to say amen to that? Well, let's be willing to suffer. Let's be willing to lose this life as Jesus was. Let's not ask for God to necessarily save us from this life. Let's ask God even more than that to glorify his name and let that be our purpose and our prayer. Now, we come to you right now as people who are so prone to think about ourselves and so prone to hang on and preserve our own lives and put ourselves first got selfishness is so we're just in the nature of who we are. That this idea of losing relationships and losing possessions and losing even our own identity in our own life here in this world, got it so offensive to us. God hope your glory to be so beautiful to us. Open our eyes to see that it is worth it to lose this life if we gain your glory for all of eternity. And God, we thank you that Jesus Christ saw that we think you that when it came to his moment of testing, to his moment of suffering, when his hour had come, he was able to say not to say be saved from that hour, but to glorify you in that hour.
[00:52:34] And God, I pray that that would be our prayer. Got to pray that when we come to you and God, I do pray that you will make this a church that actually prays. Day in, day out. Night and day.
[00:52:45] Bread and butter that what we do here is we pray when we come before you God. Even though we might feel so tired and weak and our needs might feels like so many. And our and our strength to to go through the day might seem so little, so weak.
[00:53:02] And I pray that we will always put your glory before our own requests.
[00:53:07] Got to pray that when we come to you and pray that we'll take a moment that will take a will refocus that your God in heaven and we're down here on earth, that you're our father who loves us and you are no our needs. Even before we ask of you, and that we will focus on your glory and your kingdom and your will and that we will be reminded of what it's going to be like in heaven. And we'll ask you to bring that. Haven't opened up the clouds and bring that heaven down to us here. Honor.
[00:53:33] God make us those kind of prayer warriors, people who are hungry for your glory, and so, God, I come to you on behalf of our church and I ask you that you would show us your glory here in Huntington Beach. God, if we have to suffer, if we have to lose whatever we have to do, God, we're here. We've counted the cost and we're here to say we surrender. We're all in. And GAO, we asked that you would show us your glory in a way that would cause many people to lift up their eyes and to see Jesus Christ and to worship him, the one who suffered and died. And it has now been exalted above all names. Let his name be exalted here in Huntington Beach.
[00:54:10] We pray in Jesus name a man.
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