2 Corinthians 4:5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
This past Wednesday we learned that revival begins with the Word of God. We will learn this Sunday Jesus is in the home preaching the Word of God. Is Christ in your Home? Bigger question is He in your personal life? Is He the center of your life?
Judges 2:10 ESV
And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.
Look how quickly they neglected the Word of God and impacts the next generation. Joshua told them "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night" in (Joshua 1:8) as they were entering the promise land. Sometime after Joshua's death the the fathers neglected their responsibilities and the next generation fell away from the the Lord. When Christ is no longer a priority it's just a matter of time before you fall away. Yet when we look a little further in Book of Jeremiah the fathers are scared of the judgement of God, they are so fearful they leave their children behind.
Jeremiah 47:3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions, at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels, the fathers look not back to their children, so feeble are their hands.
By the time we get to Nehemiah we see the Word of God being read in Chapter Eight by Ezra. Ezra read the Word of God to all who could understand both Men and Women they put God back at the center of their lives and we a see revival breakout as they repent.
Nehemiah 9:2 And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
"Christ is and should always be at the center of your life, center of your marriage and home. The human heart was designed for worship, and if it does not worship God, it will worship something else. If we are not Christ-centered, we will be centered on something else."(Got Questions.com)
We have seen many from pulpit become the center of attention, meaning the pastor brings attention to himself and some that have neglected the word of God. We see full music concerts, lights, and people their to see the celebrity worship leader and to worship them, not God. Lately we also have seen the so-called tolerate "Progressive Christians" changing scripture on gender, marriage, abortion say the bible has errors and redefining morality to gather people to their churches. We have American Churches in need of a of a great revival. Christ has to be the center of the church and our lives. We need to ask the hard question "Is Christ at the center of our church leadership, ministries, worship and the pulpit?" Stop trying to bring attention to yourself.
"God doesn't want to share his glory." Pastor Chuck Smith CC Distinctives
Isaiah 43:6-7 ESV
I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth,  everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
What is at the center of your life? Jesus? Or the World? Hopefully you place a priority on the word of God. It impacts every area of our life. Remember revival begin with us the church not the world. Jesus should be at the center of it all and begins with His word being a priority in our lives and drawing us to Him.
What happens to the body when it just sits? The combination of no exercise and a sedentary lifestyle significantly increases your risk of developing heart issues (high blood pressure and heart attack), cognitive brain issues (even alters the brain chemicals), kills the joints and muscles and finally gives you a higher risk of cancer. All from not moving and exercising. Our relationship with Jesus, requires movement as well. Faith is verb and requires action. In Mark 1:35-45 we see three areas of movement. One we Jesus moved to pray, Second Jesus moved to compassion and finally the healed leper moved to share Jesus.
First, are moved to Prayer? We see two distinct things in
Mark 1:35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Jesus was served in ministry the day before until late into the evening as he poured out Jesus knew how to be refilled for the next day. Jesus wakes early in the morning and prays. Jesus was not too busy to spend time with God the father. Remember Jesus Fully God and Fully Man would get tired and hungry just like you. Yet Jesus set time in the early morning meaning sometime between 3am to 6am to pray. Do you have a busy life? A life too busy for pray. Do you tell people I will pray for you and never pray? Sadly, we will find time for the things we think are important and priority in our day. Maybe binge watching a series on Netflix, getting up early to hit the coast to go fish, or even ministry has you to busy. If it was important for Jesus to pray and hear from the father, it should be important to us. Jesus also went to desolate place so turn-off the phone or the music and have a two-way conversation with the Lord. Try listening more than talking.
“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.”
Corrie Ten Boom
Second, we see Jesus moved to compassion by a man that was in the advanced stage of leprosy. I was reading the law during the time would require a leper to sleep outside the camp or city. If he came near people he would have to cry out “unclean, unclean”. It was said they had to cover their mouth and kept six feet from people. Sounds familiar, right. Unfortunately, we see a form of this today with COVID but that is another thing altogether. Jesus was moved with compassion.
Mark 1:41 NKJV
Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
Jesus just did not just heal this man but touched him. The leper could not receive a hug or a kiss cause of the law. Jesus moved with compassion touched him. It still breaks my heart today to know we loss family, friends, and co-workers to COVID and the family member never got that last touch. Getting to hold the hand of loved one or one last kiss goodbye. As a Pastor we wanted to come listen, hold a hand and pray with our church family, yet the government would not allow it. It still breaks my heart. We should be moved to compassion just like Christ. We have so many people that may feel like outcast of society, maybe struggling fear to go out into public, or those still sick needing help. We should be moved to compassion to bring a meal or just an ear to listen, bring comfort and pray with them. Would you be moved to compassion to help, bring a meal or to hold a hand and pray?
And lastly, we read about the healed leper moved to share Jesus with everyone. Jesus gives the healed leper strict instructions to show himself to the priest and offer those things Moses Commanded.
Mark 1:43-44 And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once,  and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
You can imagine the priest freaking out as they are looking at this healed leper. It was not common. You can imagine them thinking I remember the story of Naaman the Syrian, but what is healing offering for this? It just was not common, this was big.
Luke 4:27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
Yet the healed leper could not contain the joy of being touched and healed by Jesus. He wants to tell everyone, and he does.
Mark 1:45 However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.
This man was touched and healed by Jesus and he is moved to share Jesus with everyone. Yet we are commanded to share Jesus and we do not. Why? Are excited about sharing Christ like the healed leper? I know when I reflect on January 11, 2009 when Jesus saved me, it brings tears to my eyes. I was broken yet Jesus loved me, forgave me and now I am child of God and an ambassador of Christ. That still excites me.
Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
"The Lord told him not to tell anybody and he told everybody. He tells us to tell everybody, and we tell nobody." J. Vernon McGee
Do you remember the excitement of what Jesus did in your life, what did Jesus’ touch in your life and heal? Maybe Jesus healed you of an illness like Cancer, Covid or Autoimmune disease. Do you tell people about Jesus? Maybe Jesus touched your life and freed and healed you of Pornography, Alcohol, Drugs, Unforgiveness, Anger or others. Do you share that with people? We need to see the church moved to share Jesus with everyone. It was not a suggestion but a command. So, have you become stagnant and stopped moving in your walk with the Lord? Our relationship with Jesus requires movement daily. We need to spiritually exercise being moved to prayer and be in the word daily, being moved to compassion to help others and moved to share Jesus with everyone.
One thing we know in our society today is we have a problem with authority. Could be with a boss, a policeman giving a ticket, or even listening to a father or mother. So, who is the authority of your life? Maybe you make your decisions based on the authority of science especially in the age of Covid-19. Maybe your authority is governed by the latest political or social views. Maybe your authority is based a new age spiritualism, or maybe you are the authority of your life and you do the things that only bring you happiness.
Jesus is the only authority that matters. As a follower of Christ if He is Lord of your heart and life then He is your authority. Jesus is the authority of our marriages, homes, churches, work place and government. We have the guide and direction for our life in His word the Bible. It's time for the church to come back to the authority of the Word of God. We submit to His authority by being obedient to His word.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
"His own Son set the example, obeying His Father in His daily life. God gives us new freedom when we are saved in Christ, but this is not freedom to become our own authority. It is freedom from the slavery of sin, from the dominion of Satan, to be a slave of Christ and to humbly serve God’s delegated authorities." Don Landis (https://answersingenesis.org) We serve Jesus not man, we submit to the authority over us everyday (government, parent, police, boss, church elder etc...) as long as it does not contradict the Bible.
Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
There’s no need to fear those who have temporary power in history. Jesus is the final authority. We need to live with that freedom that we are his children and by submitting to the authority of Jesus it brings life and brings it abundantly.
First, I would like to say Happy Mother’s Day. I think one of the great memories of I have of my mother is her always being upbeat no matter the storms we went through in life as kids. I can always remember my wife on Mother’s Day always just wanted her kids in church with her. Father’s want to be on the golf course or fishing away from the family but not mom. Why is it? Moms are the best, just don’t use one day out of the year to share that with them. Celebrate them every day.
On Sunday we see Jesus begin calling disciples to “follow him” and for us this message is important to all. We have to decide are we just a fan or follower of Christ? Have you allowed the world, flesh or sin to create space between you and Jesus? Stop being on the fence with your relationship with Christ, because the devil owns the fence. Sadly over the past year I have seen more people being recruited for "Antifa" than the church in America sharing the Gospel of Jesus. We need to get outside the walls of the church and be bold. God will us the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Jesus discipled these young fishermen Peter, James and John and they turned the world upside down. Book of Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Be bold share Christ.
God Bless, Pastor Michael