“LIVING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL”
October 22, 2017
“THOU ART WORTHY”
“I WORSHIP YOU ALMIGHTY GOD”
Prayers of Intercession
SERMON: Don Auxier
‘All Dressed Up and No Place To Go‘
“HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK”
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
Grow in His Grace and Knowledge
Share the Love and Hope we have in Christ.
Jesus Has a Question for You
At the zenith of His career, Jesus pulled away to the secluded area of Caesarea Philippi. On His mind was a crucial question for His disciples — and for us as well. Travel back with me to the scene as it unfolds.
The surroundings are impressive. Flowing springs. Lush gardens. Monuments and temples dedicated to the worship of the Greek god Pan line the pathways. A massive, white marble temple to Caesar looms tall. Perhaps standing in the midst of the monuments and the buildings and the shrines and the temples built to the gods, Jesus leans forward and says rather quietly to a small handful of men — knowing there was not one monument built in His honor, not one building erected to His glory — “Who do the people say that the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13).
He is posing an opinion-poll question about Himself. “What’s the buzz?” He asks. According to verse 14, the disciples respond spontaneously, “Some say John the Baptist.” Now remember, John’s dead. He’s been beheaded by Herod Antipas. Some people are saying that Jesus is John the Baptist raised from the dead. That’s why He has miraculous powers.
The disciples continue, “Some say…Elijah.” Elijah had ministered hundreds of years earlier. For centuries the Jews viewed Elijah as the prince of the prophets who would be the forerunner, but not the Messiah. And a third answer comes: “Some say…Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” British scholar Alfred Plummer describes these on-the-street opinions as “wild and fluctuating guesses.”¹ But they all boil down to this: “He’s a man.”
Then Jesus narrows His gaze and personalizes the question for His men: “But who do you say that I am?” (16:15, emphasis added). In Matthew’s original text, Jesus emphasizes “you” — and it’s plural. He’s asking each man who they think He is.
I don’t know how much time passes between verses 15 and 16, but Peter can’t stand the silence any longer. And even though the question was addressed to the group, Peter speaks for all of them. That’s like Peter, isn’t it? I love his answer.
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (16:16).
We have at times laughed at Simon Peter. But here’s a moment when we must salute him. He’s never had a greater moment than this. Christ is the flesh-and-bone God, not a fixed-in-stone god. And notice the definite articles. This isn’t a generalized series of wild guesses. This isn’t public opinion talking here. This is a specific answer about the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
Can you picture the scene? Peter didn’t always get it right, but he nailed it this time! How great is that!
Now imagine for a moment that Jesus turns His gaze from Peter and the disciples…to you. He has a question for you also: “Who am I to you?” He asks.
There can be no greater question you could answer. “Who is Jesus Christ to you?” Your reply must be, “The Son of the living God, my Savior, and my God.”
Who else could He be? There is no one else qualified to grant forgiveness but Jesus. There is no one other than Christ who will stay closer to you when everyone or everything is stripped from you. There is no one else who can turn your bitterness into relief or turn your grief into joy. There is no one else you can trust with your deepest and most scandalous secret, only Jesus. Only He can relieve the abuse. Only He can erase the bitterness and remove the scars. All other counselors and friends can simply put arms around you, weep with you, and point you to Him. But only He can change you!
And that’s just what He can do in this life. When you’ve taken your last breath and you step into eternity, having answered Jesus’ question with faith, there is not a soul who has ever lived who will be by your side but Jesus. He alone is qualified to escort you from the grave to glory. He alone is God.
Jesus has a question for you. Aren’t you glad you have the answer?
Taken from Charles R. Swindoll, “Jesus Has a Question for You,” Insights (April 2007): 1-2. Copyright © 2007 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
VERSES FOR TODAY’S MESSAGE
Genesis 3:16-24 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (17) And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; (18) thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. (19) By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (20) The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. (21) And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. (22) Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” (23) therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. (24) He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
“A Foretaste of Future Glory!” — God’s Holy Fire for 10/20/2017
For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. — Romans 8:22-23 NLT
As beautiful and diverse as our world is, something inside us knows that there is something broken about it. Disease, disasters, decay, and death haunt us, even mock us. Our bodies remind us. Disasters make us aware of this reality. Every fund drive to fight some horrible disease awakens us to this truth. But the Holy Spirit’s work within us and for us and the promise of the Spirit’s presence within us guarantee us that something perfect, not fractured and not vulnerable to decay, is coming. We long for it. We wait in eager hope for it. God has promised it. And we will celebrate it in the Father’s presence with new bodies, fully released from sin and suffering. The Spirit is not just our guarantee of that but is also our taste of our future glory.
†† Pastor’s Corner ††
Pastor David Perry & Jonnie
This past week I received an email from Dr. David Jeremiah asking an intriguing question. How would you describe your life? How about one word to describe your life? Good? Great? Amazing? This email was an advertisement for his new book “A Life Beyond Amazing.” I haven’t read it yet.
Thanksgiving is about one month away (how amazing is that!). So in light of desiring to be thankful for God’s blessings in our lives, let me ask the question Dr. Jeremiah asked “How would you describe your life?” Ponder this for a while. Of course we could come up with many one word phrases to describe – your life in Christ Jesus. He listed three words that you might say: Good – Great – Amazing. Which of the three words would you choose to describe your life?
Maybe you would come up with other singular descriptive words such as: Hard, blessed, awesome, enjoyable, wonderful, stressful, unforgettable, unfulfilled, etc. Let’s expand the description of your life to a phrase or a sentence. What would your phrase or sentence say? This is a worthwhile exercise. My phrase might be something like “I am alive and saved by the Grace of God”… or “God has given my life meaning and purpose.”
Why is this exercise important? It leads us to thinking how God has been involved in our lives. It leads to Thanksgiving. It helps us realize that our lives are in His hands and we are His, and He loves us so much. Here’s a challenge to each of you: write down as many one-word descriptions of your life as you can think of. Then write down as many phrases that describe your life. Then take time and sit before the Lord and share them with Him. I think you’ll find that so worthwhile and encouraging.
The ad for Dr. Jeremiah’s new book concluded with these thoughts: “An unfulfilled life is no way to exist. God intends for you to not only live a good and godly life, but a life full of meaning… a Life Beyond Amazing. A life beyond amazing doesn’t have to start when we step into heaven. A life beyond amazing can be lived right here on earth.”
We are loved by our God – as Father, Son and Spirit – more than we can ever know. In His Word, He has given us so many wonderful and exciting promises. I hope you’ll think about what you just read – as you approach the time of Thanksgiving.
You are loved – and I’m thankful for all of you. Pastor David
Prayers for our Country and Pres. Trump
Prayers for the Body of Christ World Wide
Local Prayer Requests
JW Holmes-(friend of Vicki Auxier) has leukemia Dr’s say two years to live.
Mary Coffey, prayers for healing, strength & encouragement.
Jerry Hudson, PRAISE new med. is helping him. Pray for complete healing
Anita – (niece of Barb Hudson) – very serious illness needs treatment & healing
Hurricane Harvey, Irma & Maria Victims & For those Suffering from the Disastrous Fires in Napa Valley, Calif.
Chuck Davison – Knee pain
Connie Whitlock Had a great cancer free report this week
Jeff Snyder (GCI pastor in Savannah, GA & Pastor David’s best friend) He is feeling much better and is back at work. Thanks for all your prayers
Patricia Robinson (GCIndy) In addition to her brain tumor and other health issues, she has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and is awaiting word on when she will have surgery. Please be in prayer for her.
Doug Whitlock (Connie’s son) Recovery from successful knee surgery
Rod Matthews (GCI Mission Developer for Southern Asia and the South Pacific) On Oct. 20 he had prostate cancer sugery..prayers for full recovery
Cameron (Connie Whitlock’s Grandson) Is having health issues again
Peggy Perry – (Pastor David’s Sister) She has been able to work all week. Her 2nd chemo treatment went well this past Friday. Prayers that she has very little reaction and bone pain from the post chemo shot.
Richard Cravens (friend of Jim & Donna Dunbar) Cancer
Joseph & Georgette Franklin, Our Haiti Church & School– Prayers for safety & blessing & provision.
Joe & Tammy Tkach – Protection, safety, wisdom & encouragement
Our Persecuted Christian Brothers and Sisters Around The World
For Divine Appointments To Touch Others With Jesus’ Life & Love