MESSAGE SERIES

Love Beyond

Beyond Admiration Sermon Only Cal Jernigan January 09, 2022

Beyond Admiration Sermon Only
Cal Jernigan January 09, 2022

Beyond Admiration Full Service Cal Jernigan January 09, 2022

Beyond Admiration Full Service
Cal Jernigan January 09, 2022

[00:00:00] I want to welcome you on a welcome those of you who are on any site that is a central church Christian Church campus. Welcome to you. Uh, we are aware you're here and also those are, who are on the online community. We want to let you know that we, we are mindful of you as well. So anyway, we're together. It's a new year and we're ready to get going. But before we get going, I want to have just a pastoral moment with you. I want to, I'm going to pray and then we're going to get started. But before we do. Uh, a couple of things I want to share first. I think it's absolutely wonderful that last weekend on all of our campuses here, John, on this campus, but on your campus. And then even on the online community, um, we had, uh, different pastors campus, pastors spring. And I just want to say number one, I appreciate the fact that we have such incredible talent, but also the willingness of these guys to step up and bring the word of God. And they did a fantastic job. And so wherever you are here there, would you just [00:01:00] shout out, give them just kind of a word of appreciation? All right. I happened last week, by the way, to be in queen Creek, I was on that campus and worshiping with that community and they celebrated something that I thought was super. And so I thought I want to bring the entire church into this. They, they celebrated that the queen Creek newspaper, the daily independent had designated, uh, our campus pastor in queen Creek, Eric Eamon as the hometown hero for the month of, for the month of January. And so this is the cover. This is, this is Eric is not the one. Okay. He's the one. All right. But I think that is super cool. So congratulations, Eric and congratulations through queen Creek community. The third and last thing I want to just say, thank you for is, uh, you know, at the end of the year, we take up a special offering. We designated to go to certain things this [00:02:00] year. It was to go to help people. Uh, financially in need and also to help us with different projects on different campuses. And we ask you above and beyond, would you, would you like set aside, make a difference? And I want to let you know that among our campuses, you guys, you gave just short of three quarters of a million dollars in that offering alone. And I just, again, I just go the need to say thank you. And many, many people will be blessed by that. So thank you for participating and now let me pray. And then we're going to. So father, thank you for this morning, an opportunity for us to be together for us to experience what we're experiencing. God, thank you for the community. And the thing that we're a part of, it's bigger than we are and it's in you. And we are so deeply appreciative. So as we gathered together today, wherever we are, God, we do so mindful that it's bigger than us and there's more than just us. And so we just rejoice. And what you're doing. So help us to see what you want us to see. God help us to learn what you want us to learn. Do not allow us to walk out of here [00:03:00] exactly. As we were when we walked in, which is the easiest thing to do, but the least useful. So God make a difference in our time. And I pray for this in Jesus name. Amen. Okay. So I want to begin, I want to ask you a simple question. Very simple questions. It's getting asked a lot. So what do you think about Jesus these days? What's your thoughts on. These days, Jesus is talked about a lot. I don't know, maybe in your circles or whether or not, but he's talked about a lot and there's all kinds of opinions about Jesus. In fact, Jesus makes magazine covers 2000 years later, he makes the cover of magazines. And the thing that I want you to wrestle with is what do you think? What are your thoughts? People opinions would go across the spectrum, you know, from the simple to the sub. Uh, from the reverence to the irreverent from he's the Lord of the universe to this guy is so crazy. He's a lunatic. So from Lord lunatic, you got it [00:04:00] all. And the thing I want to ask you is what do you think? What's your thought on who Jesus is now? I would assume for most of us that I'm making an assumption here that most of us would go, I've kind of. I kinda like him. I don't have a problem with him. Uh, but that's not, of course the common opinion now across the entire world. It is interesting though, as you think about Jesus' heat, regardless of what you ultimately like land, but he's amazing. It's an amazing story. I mean, again, you don't have to agree with this, but there's certain things you have to acknowledge. Like you have to acknowledge that it's fascinating. That for the last 2000 years, we have index time based on his birth. That's just fascinating. Now we're changing that these days, BCE and CE we're changing from 80 to BC. We're changing all that, but for 2000 years, his birth has been the time [00:05:00] index, the stamp on which all other time is. That's fascinating. It's also fascinating to me that he is the founder of the world's largest faith. Uh, it is, Christianity is a lot more people believe in Christ than any other religious leader, just so you know, I think that's faster, but I think maybe even the most fascinating thing about Jesus is how many things he said have become like Proverbs, like how many things he said have become so popular. Now, the reason this is significant is if you're in the academic. How often your thoughts are cited is a measure of how influential or significant you are as a thinker. So if you're, you know, publishing and you get quoted frequently, then people go, this is influential. It's so astounding to me that so many things that Jesus said have become part of our common [00:06:00] vocabulary that we don't even know to credit them. But he said them. And let me just kind of walk you through so you can get a, you know, what I'm talking about. So when you use certain phrases and again, you might or might not use these phrases, but you hear them because they get used salt of the earth that came from Jesus city on a hill blind, leading the blind. All of those came from Jesus across to bear across the bear, uh, cashing your, your, your, your pearls before. A Wolf in sheep's clothing, all of that, that came from Jesus. Now you'll get, you might not know that, but it did. Um, we have terms like, uh, a good Samaritan that would mean nothing had Jesus not pull the story of a good Samaritan and people don't even know. He said that a product called son that was Jesus. Jesus would, [00:07:00] uh, advise us not to do certain things. Uh, it came from Jesus judge. Not lest you be judged. Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Don't don't be the one to cast the first stone. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. That's where all that came from. Uh, you're instructed to do certain things, uh, render under Caesar that, which is Caesars. Jesus said that you told them to read the signs of the time. Or would it go the extra mile? Now? Here's my point. We don't know to credit Jesus with that, but that's where the phrase came from. And even what we know is the golden rule do unto others as you'd have them do unto you, that was taken from a negative Jewish one, do not do to others. What you don't want done to you is how it was said in the past. Jesus made it positive, do unto others, as you want them to do unto you. Here's one from whom much is given much is required. You might not know that, but JFK actually used that in his speech. He [00:08:00] didn't reference Jesus. He might not even know that's where it came from, but that's where it came from. And if you are up on Spiderman with much power comes, great responsibility. Credit that to Jesus. Okay. Wasn't said quite the way, Spiderman related. So here's the point, Jesus. Regardless of what you think of him is. He's so amazing that people who don't follow him admire him. And I want to ask you a simple question. Do you follow him or do you admire him? It's easy to admire and yet choose not to follow. Let me give you a couple illustrations. Albert Einstein. Uh, not a Christian, uh, not a friend of religion per se. He said these words about Jesus. I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. No one can read the gospels without filling the actual presence of [00:09:00] Jesus, his personality, pulsates in every word, no myth is filled with such life. No one can deny the fact that Jesus existed, nor that he, his sayings are beautiful. Not as fascinating people do deny that Jesus existed, but they must be smarter than Albert Einstein because he said. Just look at the evidence. Uh, another guy that you've heard of Mahatma Gandhi, not, not, not a Jesus follower, but he admired Jesus. He said this Jesus was a man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act. Blaise Pascal, who was a French philosopher. He said this a very profound French philosopher, by the way. Not only do we know God, not only do we not know God, except through Jesus Christ, we do not even know [00:10:00] ourselves except through Jesus Christ now, whatever you make of those quotes, here's the point. I simply want you to understand Jesus is easy to admire. He, he, he's easy to adore. How much more. So those of us who follow him would say we admire him now, let's just put all that on the back burner for a minute. Just leave that, sit there. And I want to play a little game with you. I want to give you a little puzzle. I want you to solve something. Okay. And I want you to play along. All right. You've seen these. I want to show you two pictures. I want to ask you to simply spot the difference. It's not hard. You know how to play the game here. The pictures are math teacher to see, and your mind right now is calculated. You're looking look. Find the differences. If you're stumped, let me help you. He's got a tie on in one. He doesn't have it. There's a little bottle on the one. There's not on the other. You can look at the writing on what would be your right side and there's stuff on one. That's not [00:11:00] on the other. You can start to see the differences. Here's what a couple of things I would tell you about these kinds of games. Once you see the difference you can't, un-see the difference. Can I get an amen? You're not going to not see it once you see. And like, you don't have to start over every time you look at it, once you see it, you see it. And you're always going to see it. And this, the differences can be very, very subtle and they usually are, and you can still pick them up. You can still find them because it's just the way your brain is wired. Now, why are we talking about that? Let's do a different game. Let's put a picture of Jesus up there and then let's put a picture of your pastor. Can you swap the difference? Now that's unfair because you going, of course, I can see huge differences between our pastor and Jesus. Let's get personal. Let's put your picture up against Jesus. You see the difference? How easy is it to spot the difference? How many differences are there? What, where are the, are there more differences than similarities are similarities and [00:12:00] differences? It gets a little convicted because once somebody sees. It's hard to unsee what you've seen. Now, you might be wondering what is any of this matter? Oh, it matters. There's a passage in first, John chapter two verse six was I'm going to bring up on the screen and I want to explain to you why all this matters. Jesus matters. And John said this, whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. Now. That's pretty clear. If I'm going to claim to be in him, I got to live like he lived now, here's the deal. Any of us can claim to be a Christian. Any of us can claim that he is the Lord of our life. Any of us can claim that we're living by the values of Jesus. Any of us can do that. All right. I'm a follower. And by the way, many, many people make those claims [00:13:00] until we're clear, very common. This claims. And yet, if I'm going to be a Christ follower, I've got to own the fact that people who are looking for him are going to look at me to get a clue about him. And they're going to see, are there similarities or are there differences now? I want to say this there's an acid test that will help us to understand who's authentic. Who's for real, who's genuine in this. There's an acid test. Let me remind you, whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did, as he lived, it means I'm gonna be a true follower. It means I'm going to take his teaching and apply it to my life. I'm going to take his values and they're going to become my values. And if I do that, then I can say, I'm a true follower. Now of all the things Jesus is famous for [00:14:00] saying the most popular thing he said the most famously, he said, I haven't even shown him. I skipped it. And some of you might be going, I can't believe you skip that. His most famous teaching that everyone who knows him at all would go, yeah, he was all about that. It comes to us from John 1334 and 35. He said this, a new command. I give you love one another as I have loved you. So you must love one another by this. Everyone will know. That you are my disciples. If you love one another. And in other words, it's going to be obvious if you're really a follower of mine, by the way, you love people. That will be the asset tests that you can't. And I know most of us would go. Yeah. Yeah. I agree with that. Loving Jesus is proof that you truly follow Jesus. Most of us are not going to have an issue with that. And, uh, and that's the one thing that Jesus would most be known for [00:15:00] by the way, the one. Now he didn't say it one time. He said it repeatedly. Let me show you a couple of places, John, 15, 12, my command is this love each other. As I have loved you, my command is this. And then he laid it out in John 15, 17. This is my command, love each other. Now I want to point out something he did not say, you know, my biggest wish for you all, you know, he didn't say my greatest hope for you. My greatest aspiration for you all my greatest dream for you all my greatest hope, my greatest plea. They didn't say any of that. He didn't say it. Uh, my greatest suggestion for you all. He said my command for you all my command. Love one another command. Let's [00:16:00] play another game. Okay. I'm going to ask you church. I'm going to ask you to be honest. Can I count on you all to be honest? Okay. That, that was weak. Actually. That was pathetic. I'm going to ask you to be honest. Can I count on you to be honest? Oh, there we go. All right. I don't know how it is where you are, but it's getting better. I want you to just be reminded. I have to remind us every now and then this isn't just anywhere you are in church. Okay. This would be a really good place for you to be real. Now I'm going to ask you a question and my guess is you're not going to want to play along my guess is you're going to want to just sit this one out. I'm going to ask you not to do that. I'm going to ask you to wait yet. All right. I'm going to ask you to answer this question. I'm going to ask you to answer this question by raising. I will lead by raising my hand. So you're not alone. How many of you think you are a better than [00:17:00] average driver? Raise your hand. Okay. I want you to look around wherever you are. If you're online, look around your room. If you want a casual look around, we've got our hands up. We've got a lot of hands up here. All right. Um, so those of us who have our hands up, we we're, yeah, we're better than average. And. I'm going to push it farther now. Okay. Better than average means better than 50%. How many of you believe honest? My hands up. How many of you believe you're in the top? 20% of all good drivers. Look around the room. Take it in. You have to process it. Hey pastor, look, look, I, I wouldn't normally say so, but you're asking me to be honest. And so you know, now, can I explain something? That I don't miss this. All right. Do you understand that you are in your mind the measure [00:18:00] of what a good driver actually is? You understand you are the standard in your mind. Let me explain it this way. Kayla Baker, uh, one of our teaching associates here, student, pastor, he was talking about this the other day and I just thought this is so true. You know how you know, you're the. If you're driving down the freeway and you're cruising along and there's somebody in the lane in front of you and you can't get by them, you look at them who are going slower than you choose to go. And you think in your mind, and I'm going to use words. Kayla didn't use these words. These were my words. What kind of a dumb idiot are you get out of this lane? Can I get an amen from any other honest person in the. Okay. That person is a dumb idiot. They're a dumb idiot because they're going too slow and they should be going faster. So let's just say, um, we would agree with that now, if on the other hand, I'm in this lane and somebody goes flying by [00:19:00] me. They are a reckless fool that guy's a dumb idiot. That guy is a reckless fool because improv in perspective to mine proportion, to me. I am going the way you ought to be going down this freeway. At this point in time, I become the measure of what good driving actually looks like. If the rest of you would just follow me, we'd all get along better because I'm the one that's right now, sociologists call this self-serving bias. The self-serving bias is when you always give yourself the benefit of the doubt, when you really do believe you're better than most. Ever. There's a doubt. You give yourself the benefit of that doubt. That's a self-serving bias. And here's what I need you to understand about all those of us that raise our hand. The majority of us can not be better than most of us. In other words, [00:20:00] 20% of us in the top 20%, 80% of us can not be in the top 20%. It's mathematically impossible, but here's the deal. We are so quick to believe we're in the top percent. What does this have to do with this message? It has everything to do with this message. Let me, let me go back to Jesus's most famous command to us. All right. A new command. I give you love one another as I have loved you. So you must love one another. Everyone will know that you are my disciples. If you love one another. And here's what we do check. Yep. Good. Got it. Done. Most of us think we're better than the rest of us at being faithful to what Jesus called all of us to be. And there's the problem. [00:21:00] Most of us would say, if everyone would do what. Everyone. Everyone would be better off. Everyone would be more blessed if they would follow my example and do, as I fulfill this thing that Jesus, if other believers would just follow my lead and love, like I love everyone would win is what we often think. So I'm going to ask a hard question. All right. What impression are we who are Christians? Giving the world of what Christ is actually like, listen carefully. Don't miss what I'm about to say. If we become the measure of what it means to love others and not Jesus, what message have we sent the world as to what it means to love others? She, the only way we can figure this thing out is [00:22:00] we got to look at Jesus and then we got to look at ourselves and we got to say, we're different. Not him. The differences in us, not him. He's the standard to measure ourselves by and anywhere. I'm not where he is. I'm off. Not him. Well, I got. Is there a difference between how I love others and how Jesus loved others? Is there a difference in how I treat others and how others, uh, other, uh, how I treat others and how Jesus treated us? Is there a difference in how I handle someone who disagrees with me with how Jesus has? Is there a difference between how I handle being wronged and how Jesus handled? And again, I put all that on me. You got to put it on you. How quickly could people see the difference on how you handled being wronged, compared to how Jesus handled being wronged. I'm going to read to you a very convicting quote. This comes from [00:23:00] a man named Brennan Manning. He said this the greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians. Christians who acknowledged Jesus with their lips, walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds. Unbelievable. So Jesus said, I'm going to give you an, the command and going to be the thing that differentiates you from the rest of the world. You need to love one another as I have loved you, not as you want to not. So we, in our church, we use this expression. You've already seen it. We call it love. Because the problem is that all of us, when it comes to loving, we want to put limits on how far we're going to go with this. In other words, all love this far. And then I'm going to put a fence. I'm going to put a line. [00:24:00] I will go to that line. I will not go beyond that line. So God, I'm comfortable up to that line. I'm unafraid up to that line, but I'm not going to go beyond my fears. I'm not going to go beyond my. Uh, if there were similar to me, God I'll love them, but I won't go beyond similarity into differences. I'm going to draw the line right there. Gotta, I will love them if they're the same political party as I am, but I will not go beyond that. That's asking too much. I will love them if they are of the same faith as I am. But if they're Muslim, no, even if they're not at the same cut, like I won't, God, you don't, you don't shoot you. You seriously expect me to love Catholics. You gotta be kidding. You see what we do? We put all these restrictions on the [00:25:00] love of Jesus only this far, only this much. No more. That's the line. And we draw it wherever we're comfortable. Here's the problem. Jesus. Never did. That's a problem he never did. And if you study the life of Jesus, you get kind of uneasy with the fact that he was so liberal in his love. Let me show you what I'm talking about here. In fact, let me give you four things. I don't have much time. These won't take long. Let me give you four things. If you want to measure yourself against Jesus and allow him to be the standard. Let me tell you four things. You want to look at four things. Jesus did well. And what's so remarkable about this by the way, is Jesus said to do this, and then he showed us how to do this. He didn't just say to do it and then figure it out. He said to do it. And then he showed us how to do it. He taught us this number one. He taught us to see the image of God in all [00:26:00] people. And thus, he loved those who the society around him was quick to throw. He loved the outcast. He loved the shunned. He loved the downtrodden. You ready for this? He loved the person who was so jacked up with our own sin. Did there'd be no reason to go. You caused that and you did that to yourself. Jesus. Jesus loved people who everyone had a great reason not to love. And by the way, I don't know if you've ever connected this, but if you open your new Testament and it starts with the book of Matthew, Matthew is a guy named Levi, same guy, he's a tax collector. He's a Jewish tax code. He's hated by the Jewish people. And Jesus comes along and goes, Hey, why don't you follow me once you become. [00:27:00] He would hang out with people like these guys, which is why you have a book of Matthew in your Bible. So that would be one thing. Uh, people would go, not them just goes, oh yeah, them. Oh yes, them second one. And I think this is incredible about it. He met people where they were now, where he wanted them to end up even knows how easily. That's to do that. In other words, to just make the evaluation of a person based on where they are, when you beat them, instead of what they could become. I think about this. So often with GSI, there's this little guy up into, and he was Kias and wee little man in a Sycamore tree in Jericho, and Jesus comes along and he goes, Hey, Hey Zack, Hey man, you and me, we got to hang out. Let's do lunch today. As the Kia scampered down the tree. And are you talking to me? He was a hated tax collector also. [00:28:00] Jesus goes, yeah, let's let's do time together. Let's Hey, I mean, that's fascinating, Peter, the apostle Peter comes along and a guy is so messed up when he meets Jesus. He can't get anything. Right. And she's just to hang out with me, man. Come on, hang out with me. There's this guy on the other side of the sea of Galilee. They call him the Garrison demoniac. The guy is out of his mind. He's demon possessed. Jesus shows up over there and this guy comes running a Jesus got changed, dangling from him. He lives in a graveyard. Nobody can control this guy. This guy's slides up the feet of Jesus. And she goes, Hey, bud, what's up? Okay. That was paraphrased. But, and the guy's like healed by Jesus. And then he wants to be in the boat with Jesus. And he never, he never judged where somebody ultimately could become by where they were when he met them. You ever find yourself just going you're you're a [00:29:00] waste of time. There is nothing valuable in getting to know you, you ever meet anybody where you just write them off. Jesus didn't do that. I think it's fascinating. He taught us to see the image of God in all people. He met people where they. He taught us to not let other people's lines of separation become ours. I wish I had time to show you this. I don't, but let me just explain it real fast in Israel in the time of Jesus, there was the Southern region, which is Judah, the middle region, which was Samarria and the Northern region, which was Galilee. Okay. Because of some stuff that had happened in history, which I can't go into right now, this middle section, this, this was the bad. All right. This was the ghetto that you want nothing to do with because bad things happen to our people in there. And so all good Jewish people whenever they needed to go from the south to the north would go around the bad hood and [00:30:00] it had to go from the north to the south. They'd go around the bad bud. Jesus needs to go from here to there and he just goes, I'm just going to go through the hood and it's just times to go. We don't do this. And Jesus goes, well, I do, he went straight through it. He got into a city called sidecar and they needed some food. And so he sent his disciples, go find some food while he's hanging out, waiting for them to get back. He's sitting by a well, and this woman who's S a Meritan comes up and she's looking at him going, what are you doing here? You're a Jewish man. You don't belong in this. And he looks at her and he says, Hey, could you get me a glass of water? He strikes up a conversation with ed, with a Samaritan woman, a Samaritan woman. You used to kind of understand no Jewish guy would talk to a Samaritan woman, but [00:31:00] Jesus did other people's lines of separation. Not his is wouldn't go along with that kind of stuff. He told one of his most famous stories. He made the hero of the story of Samaritan. You got to realize the price he paid for that. Not them. You gotta be. Can you know how many people cancel him after he used that guy as an illustration wrote him off? What a following you anywhere. If you're going to use him as he'll he's a Samaritan man. He can't be good. I love that about you. He's your lines of separation or not? My here's the fourth one. He taught us to turn the other cheek and absorbed the wrong. Instead of striking back, this was huge. He didn't retaliate. He didn't get even he didn't set the record straight. Please hear this. He was willing to absorb wrongs. What does that mean? Take them into. [00:32:00] See, we're living in a culture today as he lived in an eye for an eye tooth for tooth equal and opposite reaction. So whatever you do, I want to do back at you, you hurt me. I'll hurt you equal and opposite reaction. Jesus didn't do that. He absorbed wrong. In fact, it says this when they were leading them to the cross first, Peter 2 23, when they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate. When he suffered, he made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. In other words, he said, dad, you got this, you sorted it out. I don't, I'm not going to get even, I'm not going to set the record straight from the cross. They crucified him. They nailed his hands in the street to a tree, literally log into a sound on him. He goes, father, forgive them. Just, they don't know what. I need you to understand something church, please get this. Your [00:33:00] pastor N Jesus, totally different reaction to being crucified. I got a long way to go before I can say father, forgive them. Jesus did. So am I the measure because I'm comfortable with who I am or is he the measure? If it makes me uncomfortable with who he is, he's the man. I got to move, not him. I got to change, not him. Wow. Here's the bottom line. And I'm going to close if you want to, if I want to, if you want to, if I want to, if I want to live, like Jesus lived, I'm going to have to learn to love. Like Jesus loved. There's no other way. This is why he called it. His greatest commandment. You gotta get this. I'm going to have to learn some stuff. I'm going to have to learn how to love beyond and why. I have not said this idea, this entire [00:34:00] sermon, here's the idea. Jesus never called us to admire him. He never said, oh, I just hope that you will come to a point of admiration while you look at me and you go, he's so cool. He calls us to imitate him. Imitating him is far, far more than admiring. So while I've said this sermon is different than most normally I have you turned to a text I'm going to close now with the texts that I've had in my mind the entire time I wrote this message. I want you to hear from Jesus. All right. So I'm going to go to Luke chapter six and I'm going to read to you what he said. Now get ready. This is not going to be comfortable. Um, as you hear what he says, I'm trying to find what I'm looking for in the book of Matthew. That's a little bit hard to find. Actually, that's kind of funny because what I'm doing is I'm quoting from [00:35:00] his most famous sermon, which is called the sermon on the Mount in Matthew. And, uh, I'm going to read to you how Luke described that sermon. All right. So here we go. This is what Jesus said. Now he prefaced it by, but to you who are listing. Let's start there. That's uncomfortable. Not all of you are like into this, but he says to those of you who care for those of you whom this matters, um, I want to say something to you, and then he said this, get ready. Okay. Jesus said, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse. You pray for those who mistreat you. You have a kid. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them. The other. Also, if someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give, give to everyone who asks you. And if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back, [00:36:00] do to others as you would have them do to you. Oh, that was hard, but it gets even harder. Then he says this, if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners, Linda sinners, expecting to be repaid in full, but love your enemies, do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. And by the way, then your reward will be great. And you will be children of the most high, because he is kind to the ungrateful and the. He be merciful just as your father is merciful. Excuse me. Here's what I need you to understand church. I'm a far cry from that. I got a lot to grow up to [00:37:00] become like Jesus, but, but for me to ever get from where I am to where I gotta go, I gotta jump the fence. I got to go beyond the line that I put the wine is what limited. From becoming who he is, did Jesus never called me to admire him. He called me to imitate him. He didn't call you to admire him. He called you to imitate him. And by the way, this go a little bit further in that sermon. Um, not, you know how in verse 46, he says this and I'm going to pray. Same chapter, same sermon. Why do you call me Lord, Lord. But you do not do what I. Let's not in Myer. Let's learn to imitate. I want to pray for, I do. I want to tell you about next week, next week, I'm super excited. Um, I'm going to share with you an [00:38:00] interview with, uh, somebody who's very different than I am. Uh, I have a friend who's a, uh, a black Baptist preacher in a church in Mason. And, uh, he's a friend, he's a neighbor of mine and we're going to have a conversation, uh, it's MLK weekend and I've thought, okay, this guy is different than me. And I'm going to love beyond, uh, by we're predominantly white church. Not totally praise God, not totally. Uh, we need to pay attention to other people. And I love what God's doing in our church. As I feel like we're becoming more, what heaven looks like. And I. But, um, this guy has got insights that I don't have. And so you don't miss next week. You're gonna get a chance to meet, uh, Reverend David Wade of Mount Calvary Baptist church. And he's a, he's a wonderful man. So love beyond don't set. The limit [00:39:00] growth is on the other side. Love beyond. Let me pray. So God. W thank you for your word and chances to be instructed and to be challenged. And God, I got a long way to go personally, and I know I'm not alone. God, we can be the measure of everything we can say, this is what it looks like, but the truth is you are what it looks like. And until I like you, I'm not where I'm supposed to be. And nor is any of the rest of us father, if we would simply take you at your word and do what you've asked us to do in these, in these scriptures, the world would see you differently. And the world would see the church differently. God, we've got to get better. Help us to learn how to do this and this I pray in Jesus name. Amen. Thank you. All right.
✖ CLOSE

[00:00:00] I want to welcome you on a welcome those of you who are on any site that is a central church Christian Church campus. Welcome to you. Uh, we are aware you're here and also those are, who are on the online community. We want to let you know that we, we are mindful of you as well. So anyway, we're together. It's a new year and we're ready to get going. But before we get going, I want to have just a pastoral moment with you. I want to, I'm going to pray and then we're going to get started. But before we do. Uh, a couple of things I want to share first. I think it's absolutely wonderful that last weekend on all of our campuses here, John, on this campus, but on your campus. And then even on the online community, um, we had, uh, different pastors campus, pastors spring. And I just want to say number one, I appreciate the fact that we have such incredible talent, but also the willingness of these guys to step up and bring the word of God. And they did a fantastic job. And so wherever you are here there, would you just [00:01:00] shout out, give them just kind of a word of appreciation? All right. I happened last week, by the way, to be in queen Creek, I was on that campus and worshiping with that community and they celebrated something that I thought was super. And so I thought I want to bring the entire church into this. They, they celebrated that the queen Creek newspaper, the daily independent had designated, uh, our campus pastor in queen Creek, Eric Eamon as the hometown hero for the month of, for the month of January. And so this is the cover. This is, this is Eric is not the one. Okay. He's the one. All right. But I think that is super cool. So congratulations, Eric and congratulations through queen Creek community. The third and last thing I want to just say, thank you for is, uh, you know, at the end of the year, we take up a special offering. We designated to go to certain things this [00:02:00] year. It was to go to help people. Uh, financially in need and also to help us with different projects on different campuses. And we ask you above and beyond, would you, would you like set aside, make a difference? And I want to let you know that among our campuses, you guys, you gave just short of three quarters of a million dollars in that offering alone. And I just, again, I just go the need to say thank you. And many, many people will be blessed by that. So thank you for participating and now let me pray. And then we're going to. So father, thank you for this morning, an opportunity for us to be together for us to experience what we're experiencing. God, thank you for the community. And the thing that we're a part of, it's bigger than we are and it's in you. And we are so deeply appreciative. So as we gathered together today, wherever we are, God, we do so mindful that it's bigger than us and there's more than just us. And so we just rejoice. And what you're doing. So help us to see what you want us to see. God help us to learn what you want us to learn. Do not allow us to walk out of here [00:03:00] exactly. As we were when we walked in, which is the easiest thing to do, but the least useful. So God make a difference in our time. And I pray for this in Jesus name. Amen. Okay. So I want to begin, I want to ask you a simple question. Very simple questions. It's getting asked a lot. So what do you think about Jesus these days? What's your thoughts on. These days, Jesus is talked about a lot. I don't know, maybe in your circles or whether or not, but he's talked about a lot and there's all kinds of opinions about Jesus. In fact, Jesus makes magazine covers 2000 years later, he makes the cover of magazines. And the thing that I want you to wrestle with is what do you think? What are your thoughts? People opinions would go across the spectrum, you know, from the simple to the sub. Uh, from the reverence to the irreverent from he's the Lord of the universe to this guy is so crazy. He's a lunatic. So from Lord lunatic, you got it [00:04:00] all. And the thing I want to ask you is what do you think? What's your thought on who Jesus is now? I would assume for most of us that I'm making an assumption here that most of us would go, I've kind of. I kinda like him. I don't have a problem with him. Uh, but that's not, of course the common opinion now across the entire world. It is interesting though, as you think about Jesus' heat, regardless of what you ultimately like land, but he's amazing. It's an amazing story. I mean, again, you don't have to agree with this, but there's certain things you have to acknowledge. Like you have to acknowledge that it's fascinating. That for the last 2000 years, we have index time based on his birth. That's just fascinating. Now we're changing that these days, BCE and CE we're changing from 80 to BC. We're changing all that, but for 2000 years, his birth has been the time [00:05:00] index, the stamp on which all other time is. That's fascinating. It's also fascinating to me that he is the founder of the world's largest faith. Uh, it is, Christianity is a lot more people believe in Christ than any other religious leader, just so you know, I think that's faster, but I think maybe even the most fascinating thing about Jesus is how many things he said have become like Proverbs, like how many things he said have become so popular. Now, the reason this is significant is if you're in the academic. How often your thoughts are cited is a measure of how influential or significant you are as a thinker. So if you're, you know, publishing and you get quoted frequently, then people go, this is influential. It's so astounding to me that so many things that Jesus said have become part of our common [00:06:00] vocabulary that we don't even know to credit them. But he said them. And let me just kind of walk you through so you can get a, you know, what I'm talking about. So when you use certain phrases and again, you might or might not use these phrases, but you hear them because they get used salt of the earth that came from Jesus city on a hill blind, leading the blind. All of those came from Jesus across to bear across the bear, uh, cashing your, your, your, your pearls before. A Wolf in sheep's clothing, all of that, that came from Jesus. Now you'll get, you might not know that, but it did. Um, we have terms like, uh, a good Samaritan that would mean nothing had Jesus not pull the story of a good Samaritan and people don't even know. He said that a product called son that was Jesus. Jesus would, [00:07:00] uh, advise us not to do certain things. Uh, it came from Jesus judge. Not lest you be judged. Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Don't don't be the one to cast the first stone. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. That's where all that came from. Uh, you're instructed to do certain things, uh, render under Caesar that, which is Caesars. Jesus said that you told them to read the signs of the time. Or would it go the extra mile? Now? Here's my point. We don't know to credit Jesus with that, but that's where the phrase came from. And even what we know is the golden rule do unto others as you'd have them do unto you, that was taken from a negative Jewish one, do not do to others. What you don't want done to you is how it was said in the past. Jesus made it positive, do unto others, as you want them to do unto you. Here's one from whom much is given much is required. You might not know that, but JFK actually used that in his speech. He [00:08:00] didn't reference Jesus. He might not even know that's where it came from, but that's where it came from. And if you are up on Spiderman with much power comes, great responsibility. Credit that to Jesus. Okay. Wasn't said quite the way, Spiderman related. So here's the point, Jesus. Regardless of what you think of him is. He's so amazing that people who don't follow him admire him. And I want to ask you a simple question. Do you follow him or do you admire him? It's easy to admire and yet choose not to follow. Let me give you a couple illustrations. Albert Einstein. Uh, not a Christian, uh, not a friend of religion per se. He said these words about Jesus. I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. No one can read the gospels without filling the actual presence of [00:09:00] Jesus, his personality, pulsates in every word, no myth is filled with such life. No one can deny the fact that Jesus existed, nor that he, his sayings are beautiful. Not as fascinating people do deny that Jesus existed, but they must be smarter than Albert Einstein because he said. Just look at the evidence. Uh, another guy that you've heard of Mahatma Gandhi, not, not, not a Jesus follower, but he admired Jesus. He said this Jesus was a man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act. Blaise Pascal, who was a French philosopher. He said this a very profound French philosopher, by the way. Not only do we know God, not only do we not know God, except through Jesus Christ, we do not even know [00:10:00] ourselves except through Jesus Christ now, whatever you make of those quotes, here's the point. I simply want you to understand Jesus is easy to admire. He, he, he's easy to adore. How much more. So those of us who follow him would say we admire him now, let's just put all that on the back burner for a minute. Just leave that, sit there. And I want to play a little game with you. I want to give you a little puzzle. I want you to solve something. Okay. And I want you to play along. All right. You've seen these. I want to show you two pictures. I want to ask you to simply spot the difference. It's not hard. You know how to play the game here. The pictures are math teacher to see, and your mind right now is calculated. You're looking look. Find the differences. If you're stumped, let me help you. He's got a tie on in one. He doesn't have it. There's a little bottle on the one. There's not on the other. You can look at the writing on what would be your right side and there's stuff on one. That's not [00:11:00] on the other. You can start to see the differences. Here's what a couple of things I would tell you about these kinds of games. Once you see the difference you can't, un-see the difference. Can I get an amen? You're not going to not see it once you see. And like, you don't have to start over every time you look at it, once you see it, you see it. And you're always going to see it. And this, the differences can be very, very subtle and they usually are, and you can still pick them up. You can still find them because it's just the way your brain is wired. Now, why are we talking about that? Let's do a different game. Let's put a picture of Jesus up there and then let's put a picture of your pastor. Can you swap the difference? Now that's unfair because you going, of course, I can see huge differences between our pastor and Jesus. Let's get personal. Let's put your picture up against Jesus. You see the difference? How easy is it to spot the difference? How many differences are there? What, where are the, are there more differences than similarities are similarities and [00:12:00] differences? It gets a little convicted because once somebody sees. It's hard to unsee what you've seen. Now, you might be wondering what is any of this matter? Oh, it matters. There's a passage in first, John chapter two verse six was I'm going to bring up on the screen and I want to explain to you why all this matters. Jesus matters. And John said this, whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. Now. That's pretty clear. If I'm going to claim to be in him, I got to live like he lived now, here's the deal. Any of us can claim to be a Christian. Any of us can claim that he is the Lord of our life. Any of us can claim that we're living by the values of Jesus. Any of us can do that. All right. I'm a follower. And by the way, many, many people make those claims [00:13:00] until we're clear, very common. This claims. And yet, if I'm going to be a Christ follower, I've got to own the fact that people who are looking for him are going to look at me to get a clue about him. And they're going to see, are there similarities or are there differences now? I want to say this there's an acid test that will help us to understand who's authentic. Who's for real, who's genuine in this. There's an acid test. Let me remind you, whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did, as he lived, it means I'm gonna be a true follower. It means I'm going to take his teaching and apply it to my life. I'm going to take his values and they're going to become my values. And if I do that, then I can say, I'm a true follower. Now of all the things Jesus is famous for [00:14:00] saying the most popular thing he said the most famously, he said, I haven't even shown him. I skipped it. And some of you might be going, I can't believe you skip that. His most famous teaching that everyone who knows him at all would go, yeah, he was all about that. It comes to us from John 1334 and 35. He said this, a new command. I give you love one another as I have loved you. So you must love one another by this. Everyone will know. That you are my disciples. If you love one another. And in other words, it's going to be obvious if you're really a follower of mine, by the way, you love people. That will be the asset tests that you can't. And I know most of us would go. Yeah. Yeah. I agree with that. Loving Jesus is proof that you truly follow Jesus. Most of us are not going to have an issue with that. And, uh, and that's the one thing that Jesus would most be known for [00:15:00] by the way, the one. Now he didn't say it one time. He said it repeatedly. Let me show you a couple of places, John, 15, 12, my command is this love each other. As I have loved you, my command is this. And then he laid it out in John 15, 17. This is my command, love each other. Now I want to point out something he did not say, you know, my biggest wish for you all, you know, he didn't say my greatest hope for you. My greatest aspiration for you all my greatest dream for you all my greatest hope, my greatest plea. They didn't say any of that. He didn't say it. Uh, my greatest suggestion for you all. He said my command for you all my command. Love one another command. Let's [00:16:00] play another game. Okay. I'm going to ask you church. I'm going to ask you to be honest. Can I count on you all to be honest? Okay. That, that was weak. Actually. That was pathetic. I'm going to ask you to be honest. Can I count on you to be honest? Oh, there we go. All right. I don't know how it is where you are, but it's getting better. I want you to just be reminded. I have to remind us every now and then this isn't just anywhere you are in church. Okay. This would be a really good place for you to be real. Now I'm going to ask you a question and my guess is you're not going to want to play along my guess is you're going to want to just sit this one out. I'm going to ask you not to do that. I'm going to ask you to wait yet. All right. I'm going to ask you to answer this question. I'm going to ask you to answer this question by raising. I will lead by raising my hand. So you're not alone. How many of you think you are a better than [00:17:00] average driver? Raise your hand. Okay. I want you to look around wherever you are. If you're online, look around your room. If you want a casual look around, we've got our hands up. We've got a lot of hands up here. All right. Um, so those of us who have our hands up, we we're, yeah, we're better than average. And. I'm going to push it farther now. Okay. Better than average means better than 50%. How many of you believe honest? My hands up. How many of you believe you're in the top? 20% of all good drivers. Look around the room. Take it in. You have to process it. Hey pastor, look, look, I, I wouldn't normally say so, but you're asking me to be honest. And so you know, now, can I explain something? That I don't miss this. All right. Do you understand that you are in your mind the measure [00:18:00] of what a good driver actually is? You understand you are the standard in your mind. Let me explain it this way. Kayla Baker, uh, one of our teaching associates here, student, pastor, he was talking about this the other day and I just thought this is so true. You know how you know, you're the. If you're driving down the freeway and you're cruising along and there's somebody in the lane in front of you and you can't get by them, you look at them who are going slower than you choose to go. And you think in your mind, and I'm going to use words. Kayla didn't use these words. These were my words. What kind of a dumb idiot are you get out of this lane? Can I get an amen from any other honest person in the. Okay. That person is a dumb idiot. They're a dumb idiot because they're going too slow and they should be going faster. So let's just say, um, we would agree with that now, if on the other hand, I'm in this lane and somebody goes flying by [00:19:00] me. They are a reckless fool that guy's a dumb idiot. That guy is a reckless fool because improv in perspective to mine proportion, to me. I am going the way you ought to be going down this freeway. At this point in time, I become the measure of what good driving actually looks like. If the rest of you would just follow me, we'd all get along better because I'm the one that's right now, sociologists call this self-serving bias. The self-serving bias is when you always give yourself the benefit of the doubt, when you really do believe you're better than most. Ever. There's a doubt. You give yourself the benefit of that doubt. That's a self-serving bias. And here's what I need you to understand about all those of us that raise our hand. The majority of us can not be better than most of us. In other words, [00:20:00] 20% of us in the top 20%, 80% of us can not be in the top 20%. It's mathematically impossible, but here's the deal. We are so quick to believe we're in the top percent. What does this have to do with this message? It has everything to do with this message. Let me, let me go back to Jesus's most famous command to us. All right. A new command. I give you love one another as I have loved you. So you must love one another. Everyone will know that you are my disciples. If you love one another. And here's what we do check. Yep. Good. Got it. Done. Most of us think we're better than the rest of us at being faithful to what Jesus called all of us to be. And there's the problem. [00:21:00] Most of us would say, if everyone would do what. Everyone. Everyone would be better off. Everyone would be more blessed if they would follow my example and do, as I fulfill this thing that Jesus, if other believers would just follow my lead and love, like I love everyone would win is what we often think. So I'm going to ask a hard question. All right. What impression are we who are Christians? Giving the world of what Christ is actually like, listen carefully. Don't miss what I'm about to say. If we become the measure of what it means to love others and not Jesus, what message have we sent the world as to what it means to love others? She, the only way we can figure this thing out is [00:22:00] we got to look at Jesus and then we got to look at ourselves and we got to say, we're different. Not him. The differences in us, not him. He's the standard to measure ourselves by and anywhere. I'm not where he is. I'm off. Not him. Well, I got. Is there a difference between how I love others and how Jesus loved others? Is there a difference in how I treat others and how others, uh, other, uh, how I treat others and how Jesus treated us? Is there a difference in how I handle someone who disagrees with me with how Jesus has? Is there a difference between how I handle being wronged and how Jesus handled? And again, I put all that on me. You got to put it on you. How quickly could people see the difference on how you handled being wronged, compared to how Jesus handled being wronged. I'm going to read to you a very convicting quote. This comes from [00:23:00] a man named Brennan Manning. He said this the greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians. Christians who acknowledged Jesus with their lips, walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds. Unbelievable. So Jesus said, I'm going to give you an, the command and going to be the thing that differentiates you from the rest of the world. You need to love one another as I have loved you, not as you want to not. So we, in our church, we use this expression. You've already seen it. We call it love. Because the problem is that all of us, when it comes to loving, we want to put limits on how far we're going to go with this. In other words, all love this far. And then I'm going to put a fence. I'm going to put a line. [00:24:00] I will go to that line. I will not go beyond that line. So God, I'm comfortable up to that line. I'm unafraid up to that line, but I'm not going to go beyond my fears. I'm not going to go beyond my. Uh, if there were similar to me, God I'll love them, but I won't go beyond similarity into differences. I'm going to draw the line right there. Gotta, I will love them if they're the same political party as I am, but I will not go beyond that. That's asking too much. I will love them if they are of the same faith as I am. But if they're Muslim, no, even if they're not at the same cut, like I won't, God, you don't, you don't shoot you. You seriously expect me to love Catholics. You gotta be kidding. You see what we do? We put all these restrictions on the [00:25:00] love of Jesus only this far, only this much. No more. That's the line. And we draw it wherever we're comfortable. Here's the problem. Jesus. Never did. That's a problem he never did. And if you study the life of Jesus, you get kind of uneasy with the fact that he was so liberal in his love. Let me show you what I'm talking about here. In fact, let me give you four things. I don't have much time. These won't take long. Let me give you four things. If you want to measure yourself against Jesus and allow him to be the standard. Let me tell you four things. You want to look at four things. Jesus did well. And what's so remarkable about this by the way, is Jesus said to do this, and then he showed us how to do this. He didn't just say to do it and then figure it out. He said to do it. And then he showed us how to do it. He taught us this number one. He taught us to see the image of God in all [00:26:00] people. And thus, he loved those who the society around him was quick to throw. He loved the outcast. He loved the shunned. He loved the downtrodden. You ready for this? He loved the person who was so jacked up with our own sin. Did there'd be no reason to go. You caused that and you did that to yourself. Jesus. Jesus loved people who everyone had a great reason not to love. And by the way, I don't know if you've ever connected this, but if you open your new Testament and it starts with the book of Matthew, Matthew is a guy named Levi, same guy, he's a tax collector. He's a Jewish tax code. He's hated by the Jewish people. And Jesus comes along and goes, Hey, why don't you follow me once you become. [00:27:00] He would hang out with people like these guys, which is why you have a book of Matthew in your Bible. So that would be one thing. Uh, people would go, not them just goes, oh yeah, them. Oh yes, them second one. And I think this is incredible about it. He met people where they were now, where he wanted them to end up even knows how easily. That's to do that. In other words, to just make the evaluation of a person based on where they are, when you beat them, instead of what they could become. I think about this. So often with GSI, there's this little guy up into, and he was Kias and wee little man in a Sycamore tree in Jericho, and Jesus comes along and he goes, Hey, Hey Zack, Hey man, you and me, we got to hang out. Let's do lunch today. As the Kia scampered down the tree. And are you talking to me? He was a hated tax collector also. [00:28:00] Jesus goes, yeah, let's let's do time together. Let's Hey, I mean, that's fascinating, Peter, the apostle Peter comes along and a guy is so messed up when he meets Jesus. He can't get anything. Right. And she's just to hang out with me, man. Come on, hang out with me. There's this guy on the other side of the sea of Galilee. They call him the Garrison demoniac. The guy is out of his mind. He's demon possessed. Jesus shows up over there and this guy comes running a Jesus got changed, dangling from him. He lives in a graveyard. Nobody can control this guy. This guy's slides up the feet of Jesus. And she goes, Hey, bud, what's up? Okay. That was paraphrased. But, and the guy's like healed by Jesus. And then he wants to be in the boat with Jesus. And he never, he never judged where somebody ultimately could become by where they were when he met them. You ever find yourself just going you're you're a [00:29:00] waste of time. There is nothing valuable in getting to know you, you ever meet anybody where you just write them off. Jesus didn't do that. I think it's fascinating. He taught us to see the image of God in all people. He met people where they. He taught us to not let other people's lines of separation become ours. I wish I had time to show you this. I don't, but let me just explain it real fast in Israel in the time of Jesus, there was the Southern region, which is Judah, the middle region, which was Samarria and the Northern region, which was Galilee. Okay. Because of some stuff that had happened in history, which I can't go into right now, this middle section, this, this was the bad. All right. This was the ghetto that you want nothing to do with because bad things happen to our people in there. And so all good Jewish people whenever they needed to go from the south to the north would go around the bad hood and [00:30:00] it had to go from the north to the south. They'd go around the bad bud. Jesus needs to go from here to there and he just goes, I'm just going to go through the hood and it's just times to go. We don't do this. And Jesus goes, well, I do, he went straight through it. He got into a city called sidecar and they needed some food. And so he sent his disciples, go find some food while he's hanging out, waiting for them to get back. He's sitting by a well, and this woman who's S a Meritan comes up and she's looking at him going, what are you doing here? You're a Jewish man. You don't belong in this. And he looks at her and he says, Hey, could you get me a glass of water? He strikes up a conversation with ed, with a Samaritan woman, a Samaritan woman. You used to kind of understand no Jewish guy would talk to a Samaritan woman, but [00:31:00] Jesus did other people's lines of separation. Not his is wouldn't go along with that kind of stuff. He told one of his most famous stories. He made the hero of the story of Samaritan. You got to realize the price he paid for that. Not them. You gotta be. Can you know how many people cancel him after he used that guy as an illustration wrote him off? What a following you anywhere. If you're going to use him as he'll he's a Samaritan man. He can't be good. I love that about you. He's your lines of separation or not? My here's the fourth one. He taught us to turn the other cheek and absorbed the wrong. Instead of striking back, this was huge. He didn't retaliate. He didn't get even he didn't set the record straight. Please hear this. He was willing to absorb wrongs. What does that mean? Take them into. [00:32:00] See, we're living in a culture today as he lived in an eye for an eye tooth for tooth equal and opposite reaction. So whatever you do, I want to do back at you, you hurt me. I'll hurt you equal and opposite reaction. Jesus didn't do that. He absorbed wrong. In fact, it says this when they were leading them to the cross first, Peter 2 23, when they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate. When he suffered, he made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. In other words, he said, dad, you got this, you sorted it out. I don't, I'm not going to get even, I'm not going to set the record straight from the cross. They crucified him. They nailed his hands in the street to a tree, literally log into a sound on him. He goes, father, forgive them. Just, they don't know what. I need you to understand something church, please get this. Your [00:33:00] pastor N Jesus, totally different reaction to being crucified. I got a long way to go before I can say father, forgive them. Jesus did. So am I the measure because I'm comfortable with who I am or is he the measure? If it makes me uncomfortable with who he is, he's the man. I got to move, not him. I got to change, not him. Wow. Here's the bottom line. And I'm going to close if you want to, if I want to, if you want to, if I want to, if I want to live, like Jesus lived, I'm going to have to learn to love. Like Jesus loved. There's no other way. This is why he called it. His greatest commandment. You gotta get this. I'm going to have to learn some stuff. I'm going to have to learn how to love beyond and why. I have not said this idea, this entire [00:34:00] sermon, here's the idea. Jesus never called us to admire him. He never said, oh, I just hope that you will come to a point of admiration while you look at me and you go, he's so cool. He calls us to imitate him. Imitating him is far, far more than admiring. So while I've said this sermon is different than most normally I have you turned to a text I'm going to close now with the texts that I've had in my mind the entire time I wrote this message. I want you to hear from Jesus. All right. So I'm going to go to Luke chapter six and I'm going to read to you what he said. Now get ready. This is not going to be comfortable. Um, as you hear what he says, I'm trying to find what I'm looking for in the book of Matthew. That's a little bit hard to find. Actually, that's kind of funny because what I'm doing is I'm quoting from [00:35:00] his most famous sermon, which is called the sermon on the Mount in Matthew. And, uh, I'm going to read to you how Luke described that sermon. All right. So here we go. This is what Jesus said. Now he prefaced it by, but to you who are listing. Let's start there. That's uncomfortable. Not all of you are like into this, but he says to those of you who care for those of you whom this matters, um, I want to say something to you, and then he said this, get ready. Okay. Jesus said, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse. You pray for those who mistreat you. You have a kid. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them. The other. Also, if someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give, give to everyone who asks you. And if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back, [00:36:00] do to others as you would have them do to you. Oh, that was hard, but it gets even harder. Then he says this, if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners, Linda sinners, expecting to be repaid in full, but love your enemies, do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. And by the way, then your reward will be great. And you will be children of the most high, because he is kind to the ungrateful and the. He be merciful just as your father is merciful. Excuse me. Here's what I need you to understand church. I'm a far cry from that. I got a lot to grow up to [00:37:00] become like Jesus, but, but for me to ever get from where I am to where I gotta go, I gotta jump the fence. I got to go beyond the line that I put the wine is what limited. From becoming who he is, did Jesus never called me to admire him. He called me to imitate him. He didn't call you to admire him. He called you to imitate him. And by the way, this go a little bit further in that sermon. Um, not, you know how in verse 46, he says this and I'm going to pray. Same chapter, same sermon. Why do you call me Lord, Lord. But you do not do what I. Let's not in Myer. Let's learn to imitate. I want to pray for, I do. I want to tell you about next week, next week, I'm super excited. Um, I'm going to share with you an [00:38:00] interview with, uh, somebody who's very different than I am. Uh, I have a friend who's a, uh, a black Baptist preacher in a church in Mason. And, uh, he's a friend, he's a neighbor of mine and we're going to have a conversation, uh, it's MLK weekend and I've thought, okay, this guy is different than me. And I'm going to love beyond, uh, by we're predominantly white church. Not totally praise God, not totally. Uh, we need to pay attention to other people. And I love what God's doing in our church. As I feel like we're becoming more, what heaven looks like. And I. But, um, this guy has got insights that I don't have. And so you don't miss next week. You're gonna get a chance to meet, uh, Reverend David Wade of Mount Calvary Baptist church. And he's a, he's a wonderful man. So love beyond don't set. The limit [00:39:00] growth is on the other side. Love beyond. Let me pray. So God. W thank you for your word and chances to be instructed and to be challenged. And God, I got a long way to go personally, and I know I'm not alone. God, we can be the measure of everything we can say, this is what it looks like, but the truth is you are what it looks like. And until I like you, I'm not where I'm supposed to be. And nor is any of the rest of us father, if we would simply take you at your word and do what you've asked us to do in these, in these scriptures, the world would see you differently. And the world would see the church differently. God, we've got to get better. Help us to learn how to do this and this I pray in Jesus name. Amen. Thank you. All right.

Beyond Admiration

by Cal Jernigan • January 09, 2022

Many people admire Jesus. Even people who don’t believe in Jesus admire him. Jesus was one of the most influential people who has ever lived in all of history, so it makes sense. But Jesus doesn’t want his followers to just admire him, he wants us to imitate him. Join Pastor Cal Jernigan this weekend as he shows us the difference between admiring Jesus and imitating him.