Monday, July 18, 2011

Losing It All for the Kingdom

June 26th was definitely a life-changing Sunday for many people...God is definitely moving and working in C4 in ways I've never seen before. It's been such a wonderful experience and it's definitely impacted my life. Sunday night was so powerful and we just couldn't stop...it kept going. God was in that place and it was so evident...that night we were there for 3 hours, and we did not want it to end.

JP (John Parker) taught a message called "Losing It All for the Kingdom" almost a continuation of the previous week's message LEAD...more in depth on the first point "Lose yourself."

JP started off by saying "If the world sees how I walk or hears me speak and thinks it is on my own strength that I'm walking or speaking then I've done the world a disservice."
Luke 18:18-24(continue through verse 29) A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’" “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
 The first thing that we notice is what the ruler called Jesus...he called him "Good teacher". The ruler, he was trying to come to Jesus puffed up...full of pride...but Jesus always sees through the "fluff" that we bring him. The ruler acknowledged that Jesus was special...but a teacher is less than a ruler..so he was trying to appear humble but Jesus saw through it.

Jesus doesn't want what we think is good enough to bring him, he's after our hearts. Our material things can get in the way of giving our whole heart to Him...that's why Jesus told the ruler to sell everything he had...because his wealth was preventing his heart from following Jesus whole-heartedly.

Too often, we, like the ruler, want to know the bare minimum that is required of us - what is the least we can do in order to benefit. But the problem comes when in the midst of all our "getting" - we don't seek his face. In order to receive his kingdom - you have to first know the king.

We all have stuff - more than enough. Everything we have has a sense of us. Some of us have as much stuff in our room as we are carrying around spiritually. Hurts, emotions - we haven't surrendered it. You can't move forward with God because you are carrying around so much hurt - you haven't laid it at the cross and it locks you up...you can't go as far as God has called you.

Would you be able to give it all up and be able to go and be content with God? Giving it all up sometimes means every material thing you have...sometimes it means anything that is distracting you from God...and sometimes it's every burden, everything you are holding onto in your heart and in your life that you aren't giving over to God. Sometimes it's all of the above...and more. But God wants you, he wants your heart...he doesn't want you to bring anything but you.

Pride keeps us from completely surrendering.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
You can't come to Jesus with fluff. We know we are broken but we still come to God puffed up and proud.
God doesn't care how you look...all he cares about is losing yourself in him...lock your eyes on him. We can't bring him anything...it's all filthy rags to him...it's like bringing him toilet paper and saying "Here God, look what I've brought you." Jesus wants to be real with us...when you stop pride from holding you back - Jesus will use you.
1 Peter 5:5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
Mark 5:25-34  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Notice that not everyone who touched him was made whole. Jesus had power over what he was doing. But in the huge crowd, he knew that someone had touched him. That's like being in a huge crowd in a tiny place where everyone is touching someone...and then asking "Who touched me". Sounds absurd...but Jesus knew.

This woman had a condition..she was broken...but she took a step out from everyone and what they said. She believed...she didn't come to Jesus with fluff or pride. It didn't matter how far she had to travel or what she had to give up. She knew something was going to happen...she had expectation...she believed and she overcame. We too often "What if" because we don't have the woman's faith in our own God to do amazing things in us and through us. She didn't have anyone or anything. When she came to God...he was all she had left...and she had put her faith in him rather in medicine and people. She was healed because she believed.

Even in situations where we are totally broken...just like the woman...we've hit rock bottom, the only thing that changes your situation is knowing Christ. The valley is where our faith and character is tested but it's where we grow spiritually. The mountains look pretty but the valley is where growth happens. Even in trials, He isn't far away - he is right there. All we have to do is press our way to the front, reach out, touch him, know him, lay it all down and seek his purpose for your life.

All he wants is you and your heart, not what you do. He didn't hold back, he gave it all so he could have all of you. People in this world, even the church will let you down. Even if you are angry with God, be honest. It's not his fault that a sinner disappointed you. Don't neglect your relationship with God because someone hurt you.
Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
What can you give God that isn't his already? It's all his and you have nothing - stop trying to do it on your own. You cannot bring him anything. You keep falling because you keep doing it on your own might and not his. Surrender the areas that you are keeping from him because it belongs to him. He didn't die and shed his blood to have a part of your life when it's convenient - he died and shed his blood to have all of you - the addictions, habits, sin and secrets. Let it go - he says come as you are, not come when you feel like it or come when you have something good to offer me...he wants you as you are, broken and bruised...he wants all of you, the good the bad and the ugly - give it all back to him. God has called you, but you can't grow towards what he's called you to if you hold back.

"You called me out of the darkness
You called me out of the grave
You called me into your light
You are mighty to save, mighty to save
You called me into your likeness
You called me righteous and brave
You called me into your Son
You are mighty to save, mighty to save"

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