1 1 Message Not a Fan 04/30/2017 Is Jesus enough! Good Morning Church! God is Good! and All The Time! So I didn t want to Miss the opportunity to bring you the Last sermon/message of the Not a Fan preaching series (Which is one of my Favorites) and this one is entitled Is Jesus enough! As you may recall in the series we have used the scripture in Luke 9:23, Jesus says, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
2 2 Here what Jesus is asking us to make a decision a decision to follow Him fully commitment. To set aside all our own selfish desires and our own attempts to navigate in this world. To turn over all our worldly desires pick up the cross of Christ and Follow Him. And I stand here wondering if any of us here really get it I Mean Do we really understand what it means to be a sold out follower of Christ? do we even care enough about Jesus to make Him number one in our lives. Well our Not a Fan Journey started with this question and it ends with the question are you a Fan or a Follower? And I pray that the Holy Spirit has inspired you thru the preaching or if you joined us in the Sunday night studies to take your faith journey more seriously. That somehow you feel you have changed who you are because the Holy Spirit spoke to your heart thru not a fan. And CHANGE! Is not always easy as a matter of fact changing maybe the hardest part of your walk with Christ. But it is necessary to discover the goodness of God.
3 3 Now if you remember when we started this journey several weeks ago we talked about a scene in John chapter 6 Where there were Great crowds who were traveling with Jesus. By now, He/Jesus was at the height of His popularity. Word had spread about His miraculous healings and inspirational teachings and Huge crowds of Fans had gathered to cheer Him on. We re told that there were about 5,000 men. But that was just the men when you add the woman and children Likely the crowd was in excess of 15,000. And after a full day, Jesus knows the people are getting hungry, and so He turns to his disciples and asks what all these people will do for food because 15,000 is a lot of mouths to feed. One of the disciples, Philip, tells Jesus that even if they had eight months wages it wouldn t be enough money to buy bread for everyone to have a bite. From Philip s perspective, this isn t their problem and even if it was, there really isn t anything they can do. Philip is obviously the head of the board of trustees!
4 4 But another disciple, Andrew, has been scanning the crowd and he tells Jesus of a boy in the crowd that has five loaves of bread and two small fish. Now I can picture Andrew making this announcement with a smile and a sense of expectation of what Jesus might do next. And Jesus doesn t disappoint! He takes the boy s sack lunch and he feeds the entire crowd. The Bible tells us that even after everyone had their fill there was still plenty of food left over. So After dinner the crowd decides to camp out for the night so they can be with Jesus the next day. They are committed fans with full bellies! But the next morning the crowd wakes up and they re hungry again. Ready for a little breakfast! And they look around for Jesus, a.k.a. their meal ticket
5 5 but he s nowhere to be found. Eventually they figure out that Jesus and his disciples had crossed over to the other side of the lake and Instead of going home they make the trip to the other side of the lake to be with Jesus. The crowd seems to have no higher priority than being with Jesus. And Maybe these are more than just fans after all But By the time they catch up to Jesus they re starving. They ve missed the chance to order breakfast and they are ready to find out what s on the lunch menu. But Jesus has decided to shut down the all you can eat buffet. He s not handing out any more free samples. So In John Chapter 6 verses Jesus says to the crowd: I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
6 6 And that when Jesus decides to have the DTR talk with this crowd. You remember what the DTR Talk is? Determining the Relationship! EXPLAIN! This is usually the moment when all relationships move forward or end! See Jesus knows that these people are not going to all the trouble and sacrifice because they are following him but because they are following the food. There are fans of Jesus but how would they respond when the drive through window closed? In John 6 verse 35 Jesus offers himself, but the question is Would that be enough? It says in Verse 35 Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. Which Prompts the Title for todays Message Is Jesus Enough?
7 7 Now real followers they understand what Jesus is saying and offering But Fans look at this statement and think well without the free food what is He offering. But Church When Jesus is the Only Thing on the Menu it is often then when You Find Out if He s the One You Were Really Hungry For to begin with. See When there are no other option s that s when you find out if Jesus is enough. We have all heard testimonies We all know people who fit these scenarios. But let s look at some scenarios of people that have gone from Fan to Follower These are people who found out what it meant that Jesus was the bread of life. *Ed became a follower after being let go from his job.
8 8 He was an executive living an executive lifestyle. He wasn t sure how he would pay the bills. The stress was taking its toll, not just on his marriage, but also on his health. For the first time in his life, he was not self-sufficient. For the first time in his life, his prayers weren t just repetitive phrases he learned as a child he was really in need. Desperate he turned to God in a way that he never would have had he not lost his job. It was easy enough for him to be fan of Jesus, making a half-million dollars a year. But for the first time in his life it wasn t enough to be a fan. Now he s a follower. *Kathy was married for more than twenty years when her husband decided he wanted to be single. Since she was a girl, she had gone to church and went with her husband as well. Because of the divorce, she felt embarrassed and hurt. She came to church broken and bitter.
9 9 But for the first time, this life-long churchgoer began to see how the Bible spoke directly to her. Each weekend she said she felt like God was speaking right to her. And she decided to listen. In her loneliness in her bitterness in her depression she heard the message of Jesus saying Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest. And she became a follower. *Then there was Judy. Her car was struck by a semi and she died instantly. A wonderful Christian lady she was always at church always praying for her husband Bob. Bob would visit the church, once a year on Mother s Day to appease his wife. His eyes would be closed during most of the sermon his arms would be crossed and it would be clear he would rather be somewhere else. As the funeral was being preformed, for the first time Bob was really listening, like maybe God was speaking to him. Later that night he invites the Pastor to come over to his house and he invites him in. His wife s Bible is out and he has been reading it. And a few weeks later he walked forward down the same aisle his wife s casket had been carried down and with tears in his eyes he said; I m ready to be a Follower.
10 10 There are plenty of stories I could tell you a daughter is diagnosed with cancer, parents get divorced, the addiction seems unbeatable, a future seems overwhelming, a relationship falls apart and something happens in the mist of Tragety. Suddenly having a little bit of religion isn t enough. Suddenly the spectacle of the fish and loaves, the Sunday service it doesn t cut it. And it is in those moments it is in those times that Jesus is the only thing left on the menu and that s when we find out that He s exactly what we needed. That s when He becomes more than a guy hanging on the cross he becomes our only hope. Sorry to say but for many people that seems to be the way they finally come to the saving Grace of Christ. When suddenly the rug of the world is pulled out from underneath them and they are stuck with no other options.
11 11 And it is there in that moment that they finally find a relationship with Christ. Because God takes these broken pieces of people and makes a comeback story out of them! So here in John Chapter 6, the crowd HAS to decide if Jesus is enough. Are they hanging around for the perks or is it really about the relationship? Do you remember what happened? The Fans turn and they go home. And here s what we read at the end of the chapter: John 6 verse 66, From this time, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. And in the long run that s what happen to most of us. Scripture tells us that; Wide is the road that leads to destruction.
12 12 In the end, whether we like it or not, most people just won t accept Christ s invitation. They like the idea of heaven. They like the miracles. They like the bread. They like the free show. They like the chance to be around a lot of people. They like the excitement. They like the pot luck dinners They like Pastors preaching! They may even like the Pastor? But when Jesus wipes all that off the table and offers Himself, Fans are just not interested. After we read in John 6 that many of his followers had left that Jesus turns to his 12 disciples and asked this in John 6 verse 67: You do not want to leave too, do you? Now I don t know how he said that.
13 13 I don t know if he was frustrated or angry. My guess is he spoke with a tone of disappointment and sadness as it became clear why so many were leaving Him. And even though He was God that must have broken His heart. You do not want to leave too, do you? Illustration: See how would it feel, if you started to date someone, and you took them to the movies for the first date? You paid for the popcorn, the drinks, all the snacks. You paid for the tickets. And after the date, you ask them out again. They say yes. So you take them somewhere nicer this time. Maybe a nice restaurant. You let them order anything they want off the menu, and when the bill finally comes, you pick it up and pay. And with each date, you have more and more fun with this person, and you feel a real connection. And just when you think things are going to get really serious, you ask them out on a special date.
14 14 They agree, and you pick them up. You surprise them by taking them to the park. You go on a walk, and you talk. You stop to sit at a bench, and you pour out your heart to this person, telling them how much you care about them, how much you want to help make them happy and fulfill them. And just as you finish pouring out all of your affection for them they look at you and ask; Is this the date? When are we going to go do something? And pretty soon, you realize they were just hanging around for the things you d get them. For the movie tickets. For the nights of free meals and entertainment. Wouldn t that break your heart? I can only imagine that might be how Jesus felt. So He asks his disciples, the men He s grown closest to, whether or not they ll leave.
15 15 Would His most devoted disciples turn out to be just Fans who weren t willing to stick around when the teaching got tough? Was this group more focused on the crowds Jesus attracted than on His message of life? Would they abandon Jesus too? In John 6:68-69, we read their response. Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God. See when You Really Know Jesus as Lord You Don t ever want to Leave Him. Peter s answer best sums it up. SLIDE To whom shall we go?
16 16 That one question seems to ask thousands of questions. Who could lead us like you could? Who could teach us with wisdom like yours? Who could possibly bring us closer to God? Why would we ever want to leave the Messiah? Who else is worth following compared to you? How could we ever find someone else like you? See, fans will bail on Jesus when His teaching gets difficult. When He asks them to sacrifice when He asks them to take up their cross when He asks them to die to themselves When change must occur Fans take off. And I think they do that because they prefer comfort...they don t want to face Change they want to be in control even if it is for their own good! See I m convinced that our actions reflect the knowledge of our heart. And changing our hearts affects our attitudes!
17 17 And many of us have spent years perfecting the attitudes of unforgiveness, resentment, Gossip and slander! I Mean What would we do throw all that away? I mean even with all the proof and all the scriptures and all the testimonies of people for 2000 years you would think that we would believe and want to follow with every ounce of our being That we would understand that following Jesus leads to a contented life a life of joy over our trials to be in the presence of the Lord? I mean Isn t that what we all long for? If all of us believed and knew with every ounce of our being, we d have a much easier time swallowing some of the tougher portions of Scripture. If all of us knew and believed the way those disciples did I think we d be willing to stand strong for God s teaching on sexuality when it came up among our friends and colleagues. If all of us knew and believed that Jesus was Lord, I think we d approach sharing our faith in a very different way. But here s the problem:
18 18 SLIDE; We Don t Know the Way We Want, So We Don t Believe the Way We Should. Let me repeat that: See for some they are still asking the question if Jesus was really Lord! Just like the Jews of that day! We really can t know for sure that Jesus is Lord. There s evidence both for and against our beliefs, and the bottom line is that we can t know the way we want. Because in our selfish Nature We wish we could have it all laid out for us. We wish God would write it in the sky. We wish He d give us a vision. We wish He d speak directly to us. We wish He d send an angel or give us some kind of unmistakable sign that He is alive and in charge and Jesus is His son. But life s not like that, is it?
19 19 And it wasn t like that for the disciples, either. Sure they were there for the miracles. But at that point, they chose to know and believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Choosing to know and believe is a choice we have to make, just like the disciples made. It is by the free will that God has given us. Because if we would believe with the same fire and passion that the disciples had, I think we could do some amazing things in our community in Jesus name! But in the end it comes down to whether Jesus is enough for you? And it comes down to whether or not you ll choose to move from being a Fan to being a follower.
20 20 Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, We Don t Know the Day church But We need to Know His Name It s true; we don t know the day Christ will return. We don t know when our health might fail or our finances might plummet or when we ll die. And we never will. But even though we don t know the day, we know His name. Here s what I know! I know none of us want to be declared Fans on judgment day. And I know we aren t offered the guarantee that we d really like but Jesus does offer a different kind of guarantee. Jesus guarantees that if you put your trust in Him, He will never fail you.
21 21 He guarantees that if you will stake your life on His message of truth that He will stake His life on your eternity in Heaven. Jesus guarantees that if you put your trust and hope in Him, He ll guide you to an eternity with God the Father. We don t know the day church, but we know His name. And as Scripture tells us by his name alone all men saved. But you have to decide... Are you a Fan or are you a Follower of Jesus? Because all of those guarantees that Christ made are for the Followers who refuse to leave His side. The Followers who ask, To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One sent from God. You have taught us and given us the wisdom thru the spoken word about Love and forgiveness!
22 22 To Whom Shall we go Jesus Will Jesus Be enough for you today! And all God s people said; AMEN Some of you may remember this message from 2012 and probably many of you don t But the Day I gave this message all my Kids and Grand Kids were all here and I wrote something for them that I read aloud that day and I want to share it with you today! It was called; My Apology Dear Family! This Not a Fan series has touched my heart and made me realize something. That a lot of times we find excuses for not telling our family and friends how much we love them and what Christ means to us. How much they mean to us and how much it would mean to you for them to become a follower of Christ.
23 23 That s me here today. My Family is here today and I need to make an apology! I have made some pretty bad choices in my life. And because of the choices I have made in years prior to giving my life for Christ, I have shown my very own family, how to a life of moral disobedience. I have shown them how to live a worldly life instead of a life filled with Christ as my leader. I have been an example to them in years gone by, which is not the example of a follower of Christ but a lover of this world! I wish somehow I could take all the years back that I stood before you being an example of a worldly life and not a life lead by Christ. It s a life that I am still paying for in my heart and may well be paying for a long time. But from the bottom of my heart and in front of this family of Christ followers I would ask you that you would forgive me for those years. And I am not asking you to forgive me just with your heart or your lips but I am asking you to forgive me with your life.
24 24 Please do not let my past hinder your life any longer by being a follower of man s ways, and worldly ways. Please offer your children and my grand children a life that is more abundantly fulfilled and enriched by; Being a Follower of Christ yourself; And by showing your children how to love Jesus so they can pass on a legacy of family that follows Jesus. I believe that the greatest present that a Christian Mom and Dad could receive, would be to see their children become followers of Christ. To love Christ and adapt the life style and the obedience of what that means. One of the things that I have learned is that, I don t try hard enough to show my family and others the Love of Christ, and as hard as this was for me, and as uncomfortable as this is for you, I want you to know that I couldn t be more proud and have anymore Love for each of you anymore than a father can.
25 25 But that we serve a God that does love you more and that is why I want more than life itself for you to find this love for Him so He can and will lead guide and direct your life on a Path that is richer than any kingdom here on earth. I don t want you to be satisfied with a bucket list for life; I want you to experience the fulfillment of an Ocean of quality that comes with a life lead by Christ. Please forgive me for my pass by leading a life that follows Christ. I Love you DAD! I read those words allowed to my Family and it impacted one of my daughters and her husband. I pray that if you haven t yet that you would accept Jesus Christ into your life be a follower and that you would be so moved by the spirit that you would do this for your family as well. So Today! As the Praise team comes forward,
26 26 Maybe today is the day to ask Jesus to share His Amazing Love to come to your rescue. Because not only do you need Him but your family needs Him as well! If you would like Bring your family to the Altar like I did that day and Angie or I would pray for you all! Maybe you have been longing to do the same with someone in your family and they are here today. Please feel free to bring them to the altar and pray as well. Please stand and come church as we sing!