Archive for the ‘C3 Global’ Category
Worship the Holy Spirit
He never asks us to worship the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit always points us to Christ. He is our convictor, our counselor, our guide. He is pointing us to Jesus because remember, friends, it is all about Jesus. We were sought and bought by His blood and if we receive that, it is our first act of worship. Then we begin to climb the mountain of worship and while we climb we have got to be producing fruit. Our Lord said that He would know His followers by the fruit they produce.
Some people who call themselves Christians produce plastic fruit. Fake fruit. You know those hypocrites; they will say one thing and do another. You look at them and think they must be producing real fruit, but when you look at the fruit you find out that it is plastic. Others that go by the label of believers just produce a bunch of peels.
Here is the little hypothetical he gives us. James says, “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes.” This word clothes in the original language is pronounced, “Versace.” Seriously though, back in biblical times, the rich wore very ostentatious and outlandish garments.
For example, most people would wear a ring on every finger but their middle fingers and they would wear these toga type garments with the jewels actually sewn into the fabric. So, when they walked into your church or your meeting place, everyone could go, “Wow, this guy, or this girl is loaded. They have got some serious jack, some scratch, some coin.”
So James says, “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes,” maybe he is prancing around in his Prada shoes, “and a poor man shabby clothes also comes in.” This phrase, shabby clothes, means “hand me downs.” You can kind of spot them.
Some would like to hang out with athletes versus non-athletes. We all have that little list, don’t we? We rarely click on it, but it’s there deep within the database of our mind and heart.
James says, that’s a joke. James says that attitude is a sin. James says that it will not work. It will not honor God and it will not help us to become mature and authentic as believers.
So I want to talk to you about what James says, because James is going to tan our hides. Get ready, hold on to your theater seats, because here we go.
James, chapter two, verse one, here is what he says, “My brothers.” Now whenever James starts out with terms of endearment, you better watch out. He is going to pop us. “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.” Is anything fuzzy so far? Does anyone in here need for me to repeat this? I mean, that is it, isn’t it? It’s right there. “Don’t show favoritism.” Don’t discriminate. Don’t do it. Don’t go there.
We all, let’s just be quite honest with ourselves, we all carry around in our minds, I am talking about deep in our data base, a little list of people we like to hang out with and those we don’t like to hang out with. The desirables and the not-so-desirables. I am talking about the counts and the no-counts.
Some of us here would rather hang out and rub shoulders with the rich than the poor. Some of the white-collar people look down their noses at blue-collar people and amazingly some of the blue-collar people here look down their noses at white-collar people. I know some who have gone pretty far down the academic trail, and they don’t like to associate with those who are not on their intellectual or academic level. Some of us, if we are really candid, would rather hang out with thin people than those who are a little bit heavier.
Jesus places the person of the Holy Spirit inside your life and mine. And the Holy Spirit’s full time job is to help you and to help me become a producer of fruit. I am talking about farmer’s market type spiritual fruit.
The Apostle Paul highlighted this concept in Galatians 5. “But the fruit of the spirit….” We can’t manufacture it ourselves. “…is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” Those happen to be the characteristics of Christ. Now these characteristics are not optional.
We can’t say, “OK, I will produce love by the Spirit. And I like this patience stuff and gentleness, but the others, self-control and kindness, oh no.” It is a Spirit thing and let me tell you something about the Spirit, I am talking about the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead or the Trinity. The Holy Spirit never calls attention to Himself.
Snow – forgiveness. Birds – God cares for us. I like fruit. In fact, I eat fruit nearly every day. You know I am pretty much a health nut. I love to go to this place called Jama Juice. Five times a week I go to Jama Juice and order a Protein Berry Pazazz. When we think about fruit, we should think about worship.
God has placed fruit in our lives to help us nutritionally but also, I believe, to point us to worship. John 15:16. “You did not choose me, Jesus said, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” Jesus made the first choice, didn’t He? The choice about living a sinless life and dying a sacrificial death and rising again. We have the second choice. We either receive that or we don’t.
And the moment we receive Christ, the moment we apply and appropriate the redemptive work of Jesus on Calvary, what happens?
One of the reasons so many people are whack regarding sex is because the church has been strangely silent talking about what God was not silent to talk about and create. And at Fellowship Church we’re going to change that.
Scripture says the only way a husband and wife should say no to one another is if they both agree to fast and pray. I’ll say that again. It got very quiet just then. Scripture says the only reason a man or woman should say no to one another regarding sex should be if they both agree to fast and pray. Now, sometimes you’re going to say no. But say no with an appointment. “No, tomorrow.” It’s the 24 hour rule. And read about a man’s sexual drive, ladies. I believe husbands need that intimacy at least every three days. Now I’m not trying to say how many times a week you actually do it, but I am saying and quoting various doctors and scholars and theologians about it. Because if that’s not happening at least every three or four days, then so often sexual stimuli becomes overpowering to the man. I’m not giving men an excuse to jump into porn or to lust or to whatever. But I am saying that if both of you are healthy, stop depriving one another.
I might buy this tape myself, this is good! We’re talking about every subject known to man, here, aren’t we? We might be here until 1 p.m. Go ahead and settle in, I’m just getting going!
Husbands, say yes to your wives. Wives, say yes to your husbands. Say yes. When I’m saying yes to Lisa’s needs and she’s saying yes to my needs, we’re hitting on all cylinders. That’s what it is.
That’s thread, isn’t it? We’ve been talking about that. Jesus is woven into the very fabric and framework of who we are. Today, I’m, I’m soaking wet. And this is what happened when I was baptized years ago. And this covering is simply a microcosm of my life, because I’ve been clothed, and washed, and cleansed, and covered in Jesus. That’s how I should live my life. I should have this fashion sense. I should have this passion to be clothed in Christ.
How do I know if I’m clothed in Christ? How do I know if I’m wearing him? I have to look in the mirror. What’s the mirror? The mirror is the Bible. And what does the Bible tell me? The Bible tells me after I become a Christian, after I’ve clothed myself in Christ, I’m to get baptized.
So don’t hesitate, liquidate. Don’t get punked, get dunked. Go H2O. I’m rhyming today. Rhyme on the dime, every time!
Owen Goff, come out if you would? [Owne Goff – Fellowship Church’s ministerial care Pastor, comes out on stage.] I want to demonstrate on Owen [how we baptize], because people ask this mechanics question, Owen, all the time don’t they? You know what, we’re going to baptize today. The Bible says in Acts Chapter 2, read it, that 3,000 were baptized when? That day. When? That day. When? That day!
So we’re going to baptize at Fellowship Church “that day.” I like that. That day. That day, Owen.
“Well, man, I didn’t come prepared for baptism.” We have prepared for you. We’ve got free shorts, these cool shorts. You know, long shorts are in. It’s not the 80’s any more. Those short shorts, no.
Every time God constructs something in our lives, what happens? We’re surrounded by the right they. But the wrong they always shows up. Who are the wrong they? Well, the wrong they are the people we think are everybody in our minds, but in reality they’re just a few, just one or two usually. The wrong they or the right they.
How do you find the right they? And how do you deal with and process the wrong they. Speaking of the wrong they, the wrong they didn’t like Nehemiah’s success did they? They didn’t like the blessings of God on his life. The wrong they questioned the motives. Nehemiah was leading the right they, and the wrong they came out and began to mock and abuse and tear down and rip Nehemiah and the right they apart.
So, the principle is whenever we step up and step out and allow God to build stuff in our lives, what happens? The right they surrounds us; then the wrong they will come around and mock us and talk behind our back and abuse us. That’s just the way it is.
Turn to Nehemiah 4:12. The right they are now going to get really intense with the wrong they. The right they talked to Nehemiah, and Nehemiah writes in verse 12, “The Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, ‘They will come up against us from every place where you turn…”
They, they, they, they. The sway of they , the wrong they.
“Man they feel, they said, they believe; they’ve been coming to me, they’re attacking us Nehemiah. They’re big, they’re bad, they’re powerful.”
Look at Nehemiah 4:14. “When I saw their fear…”
What is fear? False evidence appearing real. That’s what fear is. We all deal with fear. I have to deal with fear, so do you. 365 times the Bible says, “Fear not.” There’s a “fear not” for every day of the year, isn’t that cool? We’ve got to face our fear. And so often we allow “they” to prey on us and to keep us locked and frozen in fear.
Gluttony. Man, these are very positive, aren’t they? Envy, gluttony, pride, anger… Okay, gluttony. What is gluttony? Gluttony is just eating too much stuff, basically. Too much food and drink. God has given us food. Food’s great. I mean, isn’t it fun to have different tastes and things like that? God could’ve made everything to taste like Styrofoam, but he didn’t! It’s a sin, though, when we eat too much or drink too much.
And so often, we’re feeling down or we’re hurt so what do we do? We’re like a bunch of blue sharks in a feeding frenzy. Our eyes roll back in our heads and we just go to town!
I often fight that every weekend. After speaking four or five times, I’m exhausted emotionally. I’ll eat anything in sight!
But I think God wants balance in our lives. He didn’t want us to freak out or go overboard about diet. I mean, we should live by the 90/10 principle. 90% of the time we should eat pretty clean and healthy. The other 10% you can have some nachos with cheese, a little milkshake now and then, a little Ben & Jerry’s. That’s okay. But why do we stuff our faces? That’s a good question. That’s the thing to think about.
Slothfulness. I didn’t say sloppiness. Slothfulness. That’s another stump.
What’s slothfulness? Slothfulness is saying, “I don’t know, whatever.” Maybe at work you’re going and going and making deals and doing all this stuff. But then with your marriage and family you say, “I don’t care really. It just kind of handles itself.”
Or maybe you’re into the marriage and the family and all that. But then at work, you’re lazy. Slothfulness.
Slothfulness can really hurt us spiritually. It can hurt us eternally. In Acts 24:25 Paul was talking to a man named Felix. Felix was convicted, and Scripture says that Felix said, “Well, Paul, I feel ya. (he didn’t say “I feel ya”—that’s my paraphrase) But I want to call for you at a more convenient time.”