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Introducing Jesus: Week 29

Mosaic Boston

Religion & Spirituality

Audio Transcript: Good morning. My name is Andy. I'm one of the pastors here at Mosaic along with Pastor Jan and Pastor Shane and it is good to be here today in the full glory of my quarantine hair with all of you after being behind the screen, facilitating the Facebook activity during our services the past few months. Today I just want to jump right into the text. First of all, I'll remind you, if you're new to Mosaic we want you to fill out the connection card. Even when we're online, we are going to hammer this home. We want to get to know you. We want to try to build true community here we gather, still online via Zoom via Google Meet and Word of God moves through those platforms. So if you'd like to get more connected to our church, ask questions, submit prayers, please fill that out. We'd like to get to know you. Today, I just want to jump right into the Scripture. We're continuing our series in Luke. The last passage says, ends with anyone who wants to do the work, continue the work and the heaven, the kingdom of heaven, if you put your hand to the plow, you must not look back. These are words to some of Christ's earliest disciples and our passage begins today with Jesus sending out some common disciples. I just want to advise you there are about 30 words or phrases that I circled or highlighted when I first read this. I'm going to try to focus in on what the Lord has for us today. We can't cover every little detail, but I'll do my best. Hear the Word of God. After this, the Lord appointed 72 others and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two into every town in place where He Himself was about to go. He said to them, the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way. Behold, I'm sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money bag, no knapsack, no sandals and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, peace be to this house and if a son of peace is there your peace will rest upon him, but if not, it will return to you and remain in the same house eating and drinking what they provide for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you here. Heal the sick in it and say to them, the kingdom of God has come near to you, but whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you go into its streets and say, even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you. Nevertheless, know this that the kingdom of God has come near. I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tire and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tire and Sidon then for you, and you Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. The one who hears you hears Me and the one who rejects you rejects Me and the one who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me. The 72 returned with joy saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name. He said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I've given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. In that same hour, He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You had hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for such was Your gracious will. All things have been handed over to be by My father and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Then turning to the disciples He said privately, blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings desire to see what you see and did not see it and hear what you hear and did not hear it. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we're people who tend to lean on our own strength. We forget Your heart when You call us to do things. We become reluctant servants, Lord, we come syncretistic. We mix Your word with the word of the world and Lord, I pray right now meet us. Show us the power of Your word. Help me to exhibit reliance on the power of Your word and Lord, let us go out from here today, emboldened, yet humbled by grace. I pray these things in Jesus name. Amen. So for many of you, this is your first time seeing me if you're new to Mosaic. Again, I've been behind the screen. I am the discipleship pastor here. So I provide oversight over our community groups and do a lot of the counseling here in our community. I don't get many opportunities to come up here and preach and this is a little bit, this intro is a little bit of a state of the church from Pastor Andy. I want to lead with saying, I have grown in love for Mosaic tremendously by this period. Our text today it is Jesus sending out 72 regular disciples, these aren't the highly trained guys. This is a ragtag group. He gives to the disciples prior to this text, there's a transfiguration. He shows them His glory. The disciples still argue about being greatest before Him. The disciples don't get it essentially, in the preceding chapters of where we are here in Luke, and these calming dudes that Jesus sends out, they go out, they heed His word, and they get it. I really think that that is Mosaic, Pastor Jan, Pastor Shane and I just watching this community through this just season of multiple traumatic seasons. You guys have stepped up, you guys get it, the majority of you. In some ways we had our COVID forms at the beginning of the COVID season, just dozens and dozens of people signed up to serve, offer their resources, offer their time. Dozens and dozens of people continued, basically all of you continue to give to the church to cover our regular budget and then gave additionally to cover our COVID budget and that's just beautiful, beautiful. A lot of you have just been relentless in offering prayer. A lot of you have been relentless in just reaching out. Many of you who have been served by our church members, have in response come and ask to be served and to ask how you can serve. Just personally, I want to thank all of you. My daughter, Clara Joy, was born about five and a half weeks ago. She is a delight. My wife is a trooper. I'm so amazed by her ability just to love her and our four year old son Drew in this season and I just want to thank you for the prayer. We felt the prayers, every detail every aspect of her birth, Joyce's recovery has gone smoothly. I just really want to give you guys a word of encouragement. Continue this care. We helped a brother, I'll call him Eddie. He was a close friend of a member of the church and we helped Eddie. Eddie was working in the restaurant business. He's an immigrant, and he was behind several months on rent before he finally asked for help from a Christian sister who's a member here and with the funds, with your sacrifice, we got to help Eddie tremendously. If you're new to Mosaic, I want you to hear this and this is the heart of the church. Mosaic is not just built on preaching. Mosaic is built on the people, the servants of Christ, the disciples of Christ, who just sacrifice. They're here on mission. If you're a Christian in Boston, you are a missionary. We got 4% evangelical Christians here. That's tiny. So just hear this. Join along if you're inspired. Eddie says, this is in thanks after we gave him a couple months of very cheap rent, very humble living. My beloved and dear brothers in CHRIST JESUS. It is with my heart overflowing with gratitude that I write this message. First of all, thanking our good and merciful God, who by His grace and power has established angels on earth in the form of people to bless the needy, spiritually as well as materially. Praise be to God for the life of my sister, a member of our church, and her family. Her pastor, men, women, youth and children, members and visitors of this congregation that has cooperated with the maintenance of the house of the Lord and thus helped afflicted and needy souls. I praise God because just as He broke the hearts of kings to bless and exalt His people in the past, so He used your hearts to give me the help that only God could provide in a moment of uncertainty that many are going through. So my prayer, it's hard not to read this and tear up. So my prayer is that God will continue to open the windows of heaven, pouring out on your lives and ministry and on this whole congregation, blessings without measure that your lives overflow with the best of God and that the olive oil, this was translated from another language, does not cease in your vessels. May God and Christ bless you abundantly, protect you and prosper in all areas of your life. Receive a strong hug, so strong with the love that unites us in JESUS CHRIST. God bless you. Thank you, my brothers. That's to all of you. I just say, keep it up. Keep just living out, acting out God's love in our church, in our community, keep looking for opportunities. It's hard. It's hard to find ways to serve. It's hard to find ways to share the gospel, but keep it up and I sit back and as pastors, we just get to observe this happening, and we get a taste of why God chooses to use the church to do His work, and it's a beautiful thing. Keep at it. Now, that's the good news, but here's the bad news. If there's anything that, just observing the church, if there's anything Negative that has come up time and time again the past five months since I've seen you, as the tensions have risen and traumas hit our society, loneliness, temptation are just constant. A lot of people in the body of Christ, they're just shrinking back. They're claiming to be ill equipped to handle this season. They're powerless to be of use. The word is not sufficient for this time. Generally, there's even a sense of shame about the Word of God right now. A lot of us feel apologetic about being Christian and that might be by our own doing, or just being recipients of the virtue signaling coming from all parts of the spectrum, but it's felt, and today I want to call you back. I see this, the shame. I see this on social media. I know this because people have sent me and the pastors resources from their work, HR departments with instructions for the church for how to care to people. I know this because people have often called us and said, pastors, I have a word for you that I got from my job or from this website. I know this because people send me YouTubes of people preaching about how to save the world right now. They look like they're made in 1992 by some dude in his mom's living room. They're talking about solutions to this season and I know this personally. I've had many days where I just wake up and I feel powerless. I feel helpless. Where do we start? Where's the hope in all this? I've posted witty comments on Facebook and then immediately deleted them. I've been tempted to make the video to just share it and get my influencer following. I feel it myself, but I just want to say today, I'm going to just pound the power of the word. People of God, we were born for situations like this. Harvard shouldn't be telling us how to care for people right now. We should be telling Harvard how to care for people right now. In the Word of God, we have a greater arsenal of weapons than USA and Russia combined. At the core of Christianity is a belief that the root of all evil, it's in one thing. It's in sin. Our pride, covetousness, perversion, racism, abuse of power or sinful acts of vengeance. They stem from sin inspired by Satan and here's the thing. We have the full solution for it. The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and it changes people. That's our hope. So today, I want to press against this sort of shamefulness, the shrinking back. I want to try to embolden you to take the word out. I'm a shy, quiet guy. Evangelism is hard, sharing the word is hard, even though I've got years of theological training at this point, but I want to just remind you of the weapons that we have in store. So we're going to talk about the power of God's Word and the heart of God's Word. The power of God's Word. So I'm just going to tap in the Luke 10:17 and 18, and this is at this point, Jesus has sent the 72 out and He tells them to preach the gospel, heal in the name of Jesus. Tell them of the kingdom, that the kingdom of God is near. The Messiah, the man who the Scriptures say is coming in to save man from his sin is here. Repent. He sends them out in territories. He says, I'm sending you out in lands, there's going to be wolves amongst the sheep. So the disciples are sent out and Luke 17, the 72 returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name. He said to them, I saw Satan fall like heaven, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. So they're preaching God's word, and they have success. They're not limping back. They're not wounded. All 72 return. Nobody was stoned or arrested, and they experienced supernatural power. The demons are subject to us in Your name, but something even greater is happening. Verse 18, verse 18, is better translated as Jesus saying, I was watching Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I was watching. The picture here is of Jesus rejoicing as He observed Satan's kingdom being destroyed, one rescued soul at a time through the 70. I was seeing the master, while you were expelling the subordinates of Satan, I was seeing the master fall like heaven over and over. Notice again, I just want to emphasize the power is not in these men. These are 72 dudes. Think of the silliest guys in your middle school classes. These are the highly trained 12. These guys were probably fishermen, shepherds, laborers, mostly uneducated. In verse 21, Jesus calls them children. So they're either really young in age or faith or both and just the power is not in them. God uses ordinary men and women to do the work of His kingdom. One of the things that many of you at Mosaic might experience is probably disappointment when you actually get to spend extended time with me and Pastor Jan and Pastor Shane. You find out that we are ordinary dudes. Pastor Jan's just, he's a Russian immigrant. Oldest child, paving his way forward at all times, just learning along the way. Pastor Shane, a gentle soul from the Midwest, like literally the nicest guy. Me, I'm an Italian-German-English American from Philly who had a Rocky poster on his wall in high school and college. Yes, we've gotten the chance to get some degrees at this point. Yes, we've had years to kind of develop our skills, those spiritual gifts but we're ordinary dudes, and all that we do and all that we say for the kingdom in our positions, the power is not in us, but it's in the word itself, the God from whom it comes. We see pastor Jan say this on the Facebook chat every week while watching his own preaching. He praises God for the work that he is doing, for the power He's given him when you guys are praising him online, and the power of God's word is all over scripture. I just want to take you through, I'm going to hammer this because you need to remember this. We have an election coming up in a few months. We're still recovering as a church from 2016. By God's grace, this is a diverse church community. Half of you are going to be really disappointed in November. What are you going to lean on? Where's your hope going to be in this life, for this world, in eternity? It's in the power of God's Word. Second Timothy 3:16 and 17 says, all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training and righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. This language, all scripture is God breathed. This is reminiscent of the creation story. Genesis 1:1-3, in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void and the darkness was over the face of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Spirit, Ruach, spirit, wind, breath. We get a sense of the Holy Spirit's there in this moment. God said, let there be light and there was light. Then the creation story continues and when God speaks, there's this pairing of His heart, His essence going out and the spirit making it alive, allowing it to come alive. He created the world with His breath. He speaks creation into existence and at the pinnacle of creation as the story goes, He creates man. What does He do to impart some of His attributes to man that He doesn't do to the animals? Genesis 2:7, then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. I had a seminary professor who said, maybe this is why kissing just actually is so special in this life. It takes us back to that moment that God breathed life into us. That's hypothesis. When God says, all scripture is breathed out by God, it says, the same power that God used to breathe the world into existence, the same power that He used to bring life to man, to give him some parts, communicate parts of His being to him, that same power is what breathed out the word of God, the 66 Bibles of the Scripture that we have today. That power is in the actual word of the Bible. So when we read it, when we meditate on it, when we memorize it, when we just add it to our daily language, there's a power going out. Do you believe this? When you think about all the voices going around, there's not power coming from them unless it's grounded in the Word of God and this is a great relief. This is why I can confidently stand here as a pastor today in front of you. I struggled with speech all through elementary school. They wanted to hold me back the first few grades, because I just didn't talk and when I talked, I always had a bit of a stutter. I'm still battling it today, but I'm not up here by my own power. This power, it's emphasized over and over again in Scripture and the power works in multiple ways. Just listen to these verses. Hebrews 11;3, this one really emphasizes the point that I just made. By faith, we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Romans 1:16-17. For I'm not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. To the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it, the righteousness of God has revealed from faith, for faith. As it is written, the righteous shall live by faith. Martin Luther, John Wesley, the guys who sparked the Protestant Reformation and Great Awakening, these guys studied Romans one and they realized that there is a power preaching the Word of God. The Catholic Church was trying to attract people with the beauty of their churches, saying it's faith plus works. No, these guys brought it back. The word is in the power. When the word goes out, the Holy Spirit uses it to bring heart and hearts to come alive, and that's what changes people, movements that have influenced millions. Jeremiah 23:29, is not My word like fire? Declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? God's word does not return void, empty. It's always going to convert and then there's another and I don't have time to go into today, it's going to condemn. There's two responses to God's word is what Jesus talks about in the passage. It depends how do you receive Jesus Christ. That determines your outcome and eternity. Hebrews 4;12, for the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Essentially it's saying, you have Excalibur. The sword from the king, your God. He gives it to you, it's at your disposal. Use it, search your own heart, let it penetrate the hearts of others. First Peter 1:23, since you have been born again not have perishable seed, but have imperishable, but through the living and abiding Word of God. We're born again by the word of God, therefore, our salvation cannot be taken away. Because the source is eternal. It's God Himself. John 15:3, already you are clean because of the word that I've spoken to you and this is just saying, you read the Bible. It literally cleanses you. A lot of Christians know this. You just have a bad week. You have a fight with your spouse, you yell at your kids and you just need to be washed. You open the word, you feel the peace of God, you're convicted of your sin, God's grace for you, and you get peace. A lot of non Christians, they know this as well. This is why they don't read the Bible. A lot of drifting Christians, they know this is going to happen. This is why they don't want to open the Bible. This is why society calls the Bible a weapon. They know this power is there. John 15:7, if you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. By abiding in the word, meditating on it, just imbibing it, drinking it in. It's not just in isolation as a monk, it's throughout your day just meditating on it. You have five seconds of thought, recalling the Word of God. Your affections grow more and more in line with the things of God, with the person of God. When we begin to desire and ask for such things and grow that love for God, God makes things happen for us. This isn't prosperity gospel, this is just the word and I've seen it happen in my own life. Acts 6:7, and the Word of God continued to increase, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. So, the church grows by the power of the word and this is a story of Mosaic, Boston. Everything we do, has the word in the middle. Love Jesus, simple Jesus, the Word of God. He's in the middle of all that we do. Every aspect of the service, the music, the preaching, the prayer, the way we govern the church. It comes from the word. It doesn't make us popular in the community, but it pleases our God. We try to convict people of sin through the word, convict them of God's love for them through the word. We live and die by the word as does the Church of Jesus Christ globally. I just want to say, look at the church. It was nine years ago this week, August 14, 2011, I walked into Mosaic church for the first time in my life, at the Huntington Avenue YMCA. Communitas was the topic, kind of talking about how God's community is different from the world. I remember that because I never felt the power of the word in my life, despite being in the church for 23 years. On that day, there were about 15 people in attendance. By God's grace, I say this humbly. We were getting 500 plus people in person at our services on Sundays before quarantine took off. God is building His church. I think most notably in this season, I just did a quick glance at our members. We have 200 or so covenant members. We have people from 33 different countries amongst the 200. That's just a quick glance, I didn't really dig into it. A few thousand people have been in and out of the doors of Mosaic in the past nine years, 10 years. Only the powerful word of God can accomplish this In a place like Boston, Massachusetts. I look at Pastor Jan sometimes, I love him. I think I was converted here. He is so different than me. The more and more time we spend there, he's so different and I praise God for that. Only by the word of God, can I look at him and say, I love you. I forgive you. I'm so thankful you're different than me. Because that adds more perspective, more power to our witness here. Just at the heart of Mosaic, it's not just the preach word that we rely on. It's back to the, tying it to the 72 of this passage. It's we rely on the people of God to be sharing the word more than us as pastors. It's kind of backwards. A lot of churches do the complete opposite. Ephesians 4:11-12. He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, that's us pastors, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ. It's the job of the saints to take the word and share it, contextualize it, bring it to your families, community groups, bring it to co workers, to the influential institutions of our city. You discuss it at home, at the bar, at the office, at the park, over text and I regretfully say over Zoom and Google Meet, but that doesn't take the power away from it. The Holy Spirit uses the efforts of the people of God when they stand firm on His word. Our text tells us just to say, this wasn't just for that time. What does Jesus say in Luke 10:19? Behold, I've given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you. That was after they came back. Jesus said, this is a future of power that My servants are going to have. Furthermore, John 14:12 builds a little bit on this idea of the works that are yet to come in the life of God's people. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the work that I do, and greater works than these will He do, because I am going to the Father. Do you want to be used by God? Do you want to have His power move in and through you, or are you apologetic about sharing gospel? Martin Lloyd Jones is called by some as the best preacher of the 20th century, at least in the English language that I know. He served in Wales and London for about 50 years. He once said to his church, surely the Christian has a right to laugh. It is our lasting shame as Christians that we allow the world in these days to laugh at us. We do so merely because we do not realize we should upon the power of God. We look at the people of the world, with their motorcars their luxury and their various pleasures, and we even seem to envy them. We who have all the riches and all the resources of the Godhead in our grasp, we for whom God spared not His only begotten Son, we for whom God has prepared such things as the eye of mortal man has not seen, nor ear heard nor heart ever felt. We who, to use the words of Jesus Christ, on this occasion to the woman of Samaria. Have the well of water springing up into everlasting life within us. How can we be envious of those who depend upon the polluted wells of the world for their pleasure and happiness? What if we here in San Fields, that's this church, but realized how great our treasures are, and realized it to such an extent that we made all the people in this neighborhood and town feel that we were laughing at them and sorry for them in their dependence upon the fleeting things of time. Why, the life of this town would be completely changed in a very short time. What if we imagine that here in Brookline, here in Boston, like have compassion on the souls around us, leaning on just broken vessels for their peace, for their foundation. That's what's happening all over the web. That's what's happening. People are desperate. They're clinging, you see these YouTube videos that are made in someone's mom's house, and they get 90 million views. Surely some of your good friends, some of your family members, if you said to them, hey, I see you grasping at something that I think is going to disappoint you. I want to tell you what I have in Jesus Christ. Do you think they'd listen to you? A lot of people cling to the argument, preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words. Sounds so good. That's often ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi. Maybe there's a day in the church to use it, but this does not align with our passage today, nor all the quoted scriptures that I've provided. When we share the gospel, we can't be afraid to use scripture blatantly. We want to let our speech be seasoned by it, have our prayer for others and prayer for healing saturated by it. Without it, all of our efforts are void of the power that comes with it. It took me years to get to this point, to just be, man, I'm going to share it. Yes, we want to be strategic and timely with our delivery, but we can't be shameful. When you know the love of God, the peace of God, the joy of the Lord, you can't help but want to speak about it. My wife and Drew were listening to songs on Laurie Berkner radio. She's a famous children's musician. The song went, I've got a song in my bones and it wants to come out. I've got a song in my bones. I've got a song in my bones and it wants to come out, and when it does, I'm going to sing and shout. I don't know if she's Christian, but that's how we should feel about the gospel welling inside of us. So I want to move on, I think you should feel some way right now, even though I'm calling you to a task that you don't really want to do all the time. I want to talk about the heart of God's Word. Luke 10:17 and 20. The 72 returned with joy saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name and Jesus later on, He says in response to this, nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. The 72 come back, they get a taste of serving God, the very thing they were created to do. It's like electric coursing through their veins. It's the best adrenaline rush in their life. They experience some flow, and they're ready for some more. What Christ says to them, it's a little confusing. He says, nevertheless, do not rejoice in this. The spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Half of commentators they think that this is primarily a stern caution to the disciples to not get overconfident and proud for all the power and authority that they have. It's been given to them. They should be reminded that they have any of this power. They have the love of God, by God's grace and I think there's something to that. The other half see it more as a slight correction. I think these guys are right. The main reason being that the 72 they come back, they ascribe praise where praise is due. They give Christ credit, and say that the demons were driven out in Your name. Christ isn't admonishing them here. He's redirecting them. He's placing their current joy and perspective to a greater joy. He's saying, you have reason to rejoice, but you can know a greater joy. Actually, you will definitely know it one day heaven. What is that? What's the greatest benefit? What is the greatest joy in heaven? It's God Himself. It's saying, train yourselves to love God. That is going to be the greatest joy you can have. That is what is going to drive you to continue to do ministry for Me and this is hard for me to understand. I love tasks. I love people telling me what to do. I love people giving me clear instructions, letting others make decisions. My favorite teachers growing up were typically the teachers that everybody else hated, because they actually made you do work. I love them, I thrived under them and all you had to do was do what they said. There's a lot of joy, a lot of self assurance, you just do what you need to do and that you can pat yourself on the back. I know a lot of you are like this because you came from other states, other parts of the world to come to Boston, Massachusetts, perhaps the largest collection of task oriented people per capita in the world. A lot of you put me to shame on this, but what God wants, what Christ wants is not devotion to Him simply for the thrill of it. Not simply because following Him gives us great purpose, not because it gives us access to great power, nor because it makes us feel joyful temporarily. He wants a heart devotion. He wants us to crave His presence, the ultimate benefit of heaven. Our ultimate reward isn't a purpose. It's a person and you have to really chew on this. A lot of people that come to church, a lot of people get in the ministry because they've felt that electric feeling of serving God. It gives them a sense of meaning and gives them a sense of great purpose. A lot of people come to Mosaic and they feel the buzz. They see something happening here. They show up, they serve, but they don't really develop that love for God and when they go, you see them drift. People burn out and service the Lord when the love of God Himself isn't a part of their spiritual life. The gospel teaches us that while we were yet in sin, Christ died for us. Essentially says, God has no reason to love us. Like we are completely sinful, completely fallen yet He did, He does And he went to great lengths to show it in sending Jesus Christ to bear the burden for our sin on the cross. Why? Why did He do this? Because He loves us, because He loves us, because He loves us. There's no reason within us for Him to love us in His holy, righteous state. He wants us to turn to Him in love because we love Him, because we love Him, because we love Him and we desire to be in no other place than in His presence, living in His will, under His command. He wants us to look at Him, read His word, find out who He really is, and love Him, worship Him, serve Him out of love. The only real way to grasp the kind of love that God wants us to have for Him is the perspective of a parent. Children are the most costly investment a parent can make. I'm thinking about this a lot as number two came along. They cost a lot of money, they cost a lot of time, they cost a lot of energy. They smell often. Most of the time, the child presumes upon their parent's generosity and grace, but a good parent, despite the cost, just loves the child. What does a good parent want most from a child? The child to occasionally walk over them, give them a hug and sincerely say, I love you. My son Drew, he just turned four. He is a horrible hugger, horrible snuggler the first three years of his life. He's always focused. He's always on, he just started to randomly put toys down, put books down, walk over to us, hug us, look us in the eye and say, "I love you." Like that's what God wants from us while we're serving Him. That's where the power to continue serving Him till the end of our day is comes from and furthermore, a parent doesn't just want a child to listen them because they're promised a treat for listening. They want the child to listen to them because the child knows their parent loves them. We're still working on this one with Drew. You have to give him a lot of toys to get stuff done. That's what God wants from us, a pure love. In this text, Jesus Christ models that true love for God, the person of God the Father in verses 21 and 22. This is coming from, He's just watching the 72. They returned. He sees God's plan going forward through His ministry. He realized He's in the company of the elect, who He came to save and He sees the Father's heart in everything that is happening. He can't help himself from rejoicing in prayer. Luke 10:21-22, in that same hour, He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. He's praising God for His titles, for who He is, that You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children. He's praising God for His election. Yes, Father, such was Your gracious will. He's praising Him for Grace, praising Him for His will, over what's happening in the world. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. He's praising Him for the authority that He has bestowed upon Jesus Christ. This, this is true love for God, the person of God and where did this take Jesus? What lens did He go to follow the father out of true love for Him? He went to the cross for you and me. Do you praise God for His attributes, His Holiness, sovereignty, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability, justice, wrath, love, grace, mercy and joy? Or do you pick and choose what you like about Him, His word? God doesn't want that love and if you never really develop a love for those things, you might just limp into heaven or not even get there. Some might think that God has conceded or vain to wanting this kind of love from us, but if He is who He says He is, the sovereign King, Lord and Lord, King of kings, the Creator, the very best thing He can do for us is give us Himself. The very best thing He could have done in all His majesty was create other beings to enjoy him. In Heaven, we get access to the Father to enjoy Him. If you don't worship God for who He is, if you don't love Him, because you love Him, because you love Him. If you don't love Him, because you don't like the hard doctrines of the Bible, the biblical orthodox faith that's been maintained throughout history, Scripture gives you a test. This is verses 23 and 24. Can you look at the person of Jesus Christ and still not love God? So verse 23, then turning to the disciples, He said privately, blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings desire to see what you see and did not see it and to hear what you hear and did not hear it. Because the disciples over these little guys, like a T ball team huddle he says, hey, guys, that King you preached about, that's Me. I'm the one that all the prophets preach about. I am the Messiah. I am God in hard copy. Look at Me, enjoy Me. When things get harder on the road, you're going to want to think about Me. Why is looking at Jesus Christ the test to see if you really love God for all that He is? There is no fuller expression of God's Word and God's heart than in the person of Jesus Christ. Second Corinthians 1:20, for all the promises of God find their yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our amen to God for His glory. Hebrews 1:3, He, Jesus, is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of His power. Jesus didn't just preach God's word, He was the word of God. He is the word of God still, seated at the right hand of the Father. The kingdoms and nations are in the palm of His hand. Like sovereignty, He's controlling things right now. Jesus is literally God's mic drop. There are no scriptures, no books of the Bible after the New Testament, after the writings of the apostles who learned directly from Jesus, because nothing more needs to be said from God's perspective. He has spoken entirely. When we read the New Testament about the person of Christ, we read about the person of God. It's as if Jesus Christ, in His full power is there with us in person. John Piper talks about how in Christ we see a peculiar glory. I just love how he sums up who Jesus is. Particularly Jesus' primary speaking point to us was on the cross. The person of Christ brings together infinite highness and infinite condescension, infinite justice and infinite grace, infinite glory and lowest humility, infinite majesty and transcendent meekness, deepest reverence towards God and equality with God. Infinite worthiness of good and greatest patience under suffering evil, exceeding spirit of obedience with supreme dominion over heaven and earth, absolute sovereignty and perfect resignation, self sufficiency and entire trust and reliance upon God. That's Jesus Christ. If you love Jesus, the Word of God, the heart of God's word, embodied, you really see who God is. You really love God. You're going to consider it not a task, but a blessing to go out to the ends of the world to serve Him. You're going to consider it a blessing to take from the money that He's given you, the authority that He's given you to use it for His glory. Now, you're not just going to crave momentary success, victory's purpose, the thrill of sharing God's word, but God Himself. You're going to love heaven. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Go. Let's pray. Lord, we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. You have overcome this world, this life. We will not bow to sin or to shame. We are defined in Your name. Lord, let that be our attitude as we go from here today. Let us wield Your sword with grace, with humility, knowing that You have created a spot in Your house in heaven for us, despite our sin. We praise You for sending Jesus Christ to take the wrath of our sin, but more importantly, we praise you for sending Jesus Christ to show us who You are, to show us Your heart. Lord, I pray just use this word as we go forth this week. In Jesus name I pray, amen.


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