The Main Thing is to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing - Part 3
“What is the Main thing?” Some things we have learned:
1. We are not the Main thing. WE are the donkey carrying Jesus
2. Our loving God with all our heart is not the Main thing. Our love fluctuates.
OT covenant Law demanded all your love for God. The Shema was a scripture every Hebrew memorized. The sum total of the Law was “You shall love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength.”
Have you ever met anyone who has done this? No because it is humanly impossible. The law was designed to us show us we are incapable of loving God perfectly.
God created a new covenant between the Father and the Son. He demonstrated how only He could love us with all His heart…
Where in scripture does the Old Testament (Covenant) end and the New Testament (Covenant) begin?
Matt. 27:51, Mark 15:37, Luke 23:46, John 19:13
When Jesus said, “It is finished”. Now God demonstrated that He was loving us with all His heart by not withholding His only Son. Then the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom by God.
New covenant is not about our love for God but His love for us.
- We come to God and experience not only mercy but we go on to find grace. Grace was always available even in the OT. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Abraham and Sarah found grace to have a child in old age. Moses found grace to do all he did.
Grace has always been available but never more manifested until Jesus.
“The Word became flesh and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH.” John 1:14
“For the Law was given through Moses; but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” John 1:17-18
Now in the New covenant, God Who is Spirit – has a face = Jesus.
Our mission purpose statement aligns with this:
Presenting Jesus; the revelation of grace and truth that transforms lives.
Our mission is to present Jesus as He really is, not a religion, but the revelation of grace and truth. We are a Jesus-centered – grace based – and HS activated church!
This is so important because many people are misrepresenting Jesus to the world. Some are presenting their version, a blend of Jesus – a decaffeinated Jesus, a tame and domesticated Jesus, a Baptist version of Jesus, an Episcopalian version, a Pentecostal Jesus, etc. Do we think we are the only ones who can properly present Him – No! But we must make sure we do properly present Him as He is and not our version of Him.
The real Jesus was one whom the sick, the poor, the sinful and the outcasts of society were drawn to Him. He manifested the tangible love of God to people and they were drawn to Him. No one felt judged or condemned or hopeless around Him. He demonstrated God’s love to them.
The real Jesus bowed down and helped up a woman about to be stoned by religious people because of her adultery. No one else offered to help her. It was obvious she was guilty. Our Jesus demonstrated God’s love for her. She found grace and was never the same again.
The real Jesus touched and healed a man with contagious leprosy that no one would come near. Our Jesus demonstrated God’s love for him. This man found grace in Jesus and was healed.
The real Jesus bowed down and washed the feet of all the disciples, knowing they would all betray Him. He demonstrated God’s love for them. They found grace and lived the rest of their lives for Him, all but one dying a martyrs death.
The real Jesus told Peter before the rooster crows in the morning you will deny Me 3 times! He did. Every time Peter saw or heard a rooster his past tormented him. He was so distraught he threw in the towel saying I quit.
After His resurrection Jesus found Peter and threw the towel back at him and said, “You’re not finished yet!”
Jesus revealed to Peter the Main thing is not our trying to love God with all our heart but the Main thing was God’s unfailing love for him. That is what restored Peter!
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13
Ill. After this encounter with Jesus (Perfect love) the rooster became Peter’s favorite animal. It was no longer a bass hanging on the wall but instead a rooster. If you went into his house you would have seen many ceramic roosters. Every time he heard a rooster crow it reminded him – God is faithful - It’s a new day for you! It’s a new covenant! The past is gone – get up and follow Jesus.
Our love for God fluctuates but God doesn’t change.
It is this revelation of God’s unchanging love for us is the Main thing. Nothing is more important than the Main thing, but we must KEEP THE MAIN THING – THE MAIN THING.
Ill. Two sisters loved Jesus and were close to Him. He was in their home and Martha was in the kitchen working hard to get things ready because there would be a large crowd coming to their house because of Jesus being there. Mary, her sister was sitting at Jesus’ feet in the living room while He talked to her. After a while Martha gets frustrated with her sister sitting at Jesus’ feet while she is doing all the work. There were probably a lot of people coming to their to meet Jesus. Martha wants to be hospitable and have food prepared. Finally in frustration Martha asks Jesus to tell her sister to come and help her!
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful. And Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42
I wonder what Jesus was saying to Mary that He told Martha was “one thing needful”?
Was it 7 steps on how to have a successful ministry?
10 steps to an abundant life?
How to pray and get results?
WE don’t know other than it was “one thing needful”. Ill. I wonder if Jesus was telling Mary about the Main thing. Maybe He was telling her, “Mary life gets busy. We all have people demanding our time and attention. There will always be more on your to-do list than you can do or should do. But remember this Mary,
The Main Thing is the Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing.
I believe that His teaching was timed so perfect that when Martha stuck her head out of the kitchen asking Jesus to tell Mary to come help – it became the perfect illustration of the distractions He warned her about. This was so good that God put it in His book for us to read about.
I believe God has “one thing needful” for you today before you leave this building. The enemy has to try to distract you with many things so you won’t get this one thing.
Somehow, by listening to Jesus. Mary’s love tank was being filled!
Martha was doing a lot of things that Jesus never asked her to do.
Mary was doing the “one thing needful”
Martha was laboring for Jesus.
Mary was receiving loving from Jesus.
Martha doing many things, Mary was doing one thing needful.
Love becomes the fuel that takes the hardness out of our labor!
Ill. Jacob worked for Rachel for 7 years but it seemed but a few days because of his love for her.
We have got to have laborers or else things won’t get done! True but laborers must be filled with love before they become laborers, so that serving God does not become more important than receiving love from God. The ministry must not become your god!
This incident may not make sense to you. Martha was all about the ministry and keep the ministry moving. But, Jesus said Mary had made the right choice – one thing needful.
King David had this revelation even in his day.
“One thing I have asked form the Lord, that will I seek after – for me to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to see the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4
It’s interesting to me that the last verse of this very psalm end with
“Wait on the Lord; be strong, and may your heart be stout; wait on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
This is what Mary was doing and King David discovered.
“Wait” – to look diligently for. This is finding grace that will strengthen your heart.
½ hour prayer time is waiting upon the Lord time.
We may think it was easy for Mary to receive from Jesus because HE was physically present with her. What about us? Jesus tells us what to expect from the ministry of the HS:
“He (Holy Spirit) will receive from ME and will declare it to you. HE will take of what is Mine and will declare it to you!” Jn 16:13-15
The HS has something “one thing needful” to communicate from Jesus to you today.
As we worship spend time giving thanks and singing praise to God, we are entering His throne room. Here HS tell us something.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Mercy is received but grace has to be found by you.
God’s grace has always been around. The first time “grace” used is with Noah in Genesis 6, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Note that grace was FOUND by Noah not given.
Grace is always available but it must be found by everyone.
You find grace in the strangest places:
Noah found grace in the midst of a wicked world.
Joseph found grace in prison and was promoted to Prime Minister.
Paul found grace in prison and wrote 2/3rds of NT.
3 Hebrew children found grace in a fiery furnace.
Daniel found grace in a lion’s den.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame kindle on you, for I am the Lord your God the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isa. 43:2-3
You know you have found grace from God when:
– you find grace to remain calm in adversity. (trust God in storms). No Panic.
– you find grace to endure what others cannot. You don’t flare up in anger like you have in the past.
- You find grace to do the right thing even when the wrong thing happens.
- You found grace when to live confident that Set-backs, will become set-ups for a come-back.
-You find grace knowing if God allowed it – then you have grace to handle it.
With grace: You find strength you did not know you had.
With grace: You are not intimidated by your enemies that out number you.
- You are not agitated by the enemies attacks.
With grace: You hear yourself whisper often,
“I can do all things through Christ (the Anointing) that gives me strength (grace, divine ability, power). ” Phil. 4:13
Finding grace is finding the Anointing that God has given you.
Things will not stick to you!
Ill. Spider spins web of sticky substance that as soon as an insect touches it, it gets stuck. Ever noticed how the spider can walk all across that web without getting stuck. God made the spider so a special oil is released down his legs. You could say the spider doesn’t get stuck because of the anointing on it’s life.
When you walk in your anointing from God – difficulties come but you remind yourself – I am anointed for this.
Finding grace puts a smile on your face,
a song in your heart and
a spring in your step.
Grace is activated by your faith words. In difficult times you have to talk to yourself the right way. If you don’t talk to yourself then thoughts will talk to you. Stop saying how hard something is and start saying
Scripture says, “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong!’. If you always talk the problem you are going to drain yourself.
You got to believe and say to yourself before you leave your house in the morning that nothing that comes your way is going to make you lose your peace and rest in God your Savior and you have His Anointing on you. Anointing is God’s Spirit on you to do what you could not do on your own.
The Bible tells us specifically who is able to find grace:
God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time.” I Peter 5:6
If you need mercy – it is waiting for you to receive at God’s throne.
- If you need to be born again – come.
But if there is something going on in your life you need to find the grace from God to help in time of need then humble yourself and come up here.
- God gives grace to the humble. But remember grace is activated by your words of faith.
Your part to is believe you will receive and speak faith by saying,
“Lord I believe as I humble myself before You that I am finding the grace I need to help me,
I can do all things through Christ (the Anointing) that gives me strength.”
If you will do your part and say come up here by faith believing God that you will receive THEN Pam and I will agree with you and anoint you with oil in the name of the Lord and say to “receive the grace (empowerment) of God for what you need from Him. 2 are agreeing and it shall be done.
You walk out of here with a smile on your face, a song in your heart and a spring in your step. Stay in faith. Stay fresh with God. You will find grace. Psalm 92:10 “I have been anointed with fresh oil.”
The next time you hear a rooster may the HS remind you,
It’s a new day! I am in the new covenant!