Pastor Barry/ The Gathering: FEAR NOT: STAY To watch this video message and others go toand click on the youtube link to subscribe.
Note: Sorry for the late posting of this message our system was down.
After the Resurrection Matthew 6:9-10
Last week Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead— what that meant to the first disciples of Christ was everything: Jesus’ resurrection validated all that He had taught them (everything we find in our Bible). It proved that He truly was “the way, the truth and the life” and no power on earth or in Hell could stand against Him. It erased all fear and doubt in the disciples and filled them with confidence as they eagerly waited for directions from their risen King. So what does Jesus’ resurrection mean to you today? It should mean the same things. If we are calling ourselves Christian then we must believe in Christ and all that He said is true. We must believe unwaveringly that He is the only “way”, “truth” and “Life” and that there is no way to the Father (God) except through Him (John 14:6). Our fears and doubts about life and death should be cast to the side and with confidence in Christ we should eagerly desire to serve Him on this earth—but sadly today many so called “Christians” are Asleep In The Light as singer/ songwriter Keith Green once sang :
The world is sleeping in the dark, That the church just can’t fight,
’cause it’s asleep in the light!
How can you be so dead?
When you’ve been so well fed Jesus rose from the grave, And you—
You can’t even get out of bed!
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead—
Come on, get out of your bed! Keith Green, Asleep In The Light (No Compromise 1978)
This classic song from the late 70’s rings loud and clear in this 2020 coronavirus “new normal.” I know most of you can’t work, can’t fellowship, and can’t congregate but you are still “Christian” and Jesus wants us to “wake up” and do something for His kingdom in this world gone mad.
Are you just staying up all night watching NetFlix and sleeping all day? “Wake up!” Jesus has risen! Maybe you’ve just set your mind on Jesus coming again so that you can get out of here, but how about asking His Spirit to fill you up so that you can bring others with you when He comes? Now is the time to reveal that we are the church even without a building! Let us all be about the business of bringing His Kingdom to earth (Matthew 6:9-10).
“Greater” & “Anything” John 14:5-18, Matthew 28:18-20, James 1:6-8
In John’s gospel we read the words of Jesus to His disciples on the night that He was arrested. He sought to prepare them for the dark days ahead. He said that He was going away (to death) to prepare the way (Salvation) for them. Thomas and Phillip didn’t understand and so Jesus made things clear to them and to all who would be His disciples thereafter. Jesus proclaimed that: 1.) He is one with God and the only way, truth and life. 2.) He proclaimed that He proved who He was by the works He did (and would do through the resurrection), 3.) He also proclaimed that those who really believe in Him will do “greater things” and ask “anything” in His name and “He will do it!” 4.) Lastly, He proclaimed that He would give those who keep His commands The Spirit of truth to be with them forever—He will not leave us as orphans!
In regards to “greater things” we must ask ourselves what is the greatest thing that Jesus ever did on this earth. No miracle, including His resurrection, overshadows the fact that the greatest thing that Jesus ever did was to offer Himself up in love as a sacrifice for the sin of mankind. He said of His own mission: “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus provided the way to salvation for mankind, but we (His “children”: John 1:12), have been commanded to do “greater things” which is to “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20). that will walk down that path into eternal life.
In regards to “asking anything in Jesus’ name” we are instructed to ask in His will. The name “Jesus” is nothing like the word “abracadabra!” His name is His reputation—all that He is. When we ask for something then it must be in line with who He is. He has revealed Himself throughout the scriptures; therefore, we must pray accordingly and expect His answer. The apostle James said to ask we must believe (James 1:6-8).
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo , who calls himself a Catholic Democrat, said Monday that people, not God, are responsible for the fact that COVID-19 cases in his state have plateaued. His state by far is the most affected by the pandemic and prayed for by Christians everywhere. Cuomo stressed that the number of new cases is down “because we brought the number down.” “God did not do that. Faith did not do that. Destiny did not do that.” In an interview with CNN the next day, Cuomo reiterated his claim. “Our behavior has stopped the spread of the virus,” he said. ”God did not stop the spread of the virus. And what we do, how we act, will dictate how that virus spreads.” “We changed the trajectory of the virus by our actions.” Evangelist Franklin Graham, of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian charity that operates a field hospital in New York City’s Central Park, urged Gov. Cuomo— “we always must be careful what we take credit for.” “don’t dismiss the power of prayer and the ability of God to work in this crisis and in the ones we will face in the future. He is our hope, and we continue to pray for His mercy on our nation.” Friend, If you are going to claim belief in Jesus then act accordingly, live and pray like a believer and give Him glory when He acts— or the time will surely come that He acts against you. “America, America—God shed His grace on you…”
“Stay” Luke 24:45-51, Acts 1:6-11
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared many times over a 40 day period to His disciples (1 Corinthians 15:4-7) to both prove that He had risen and to instruct them in the things to come. His last appearance and instruction was recorded by Luke in his gospel and in the book of Acts. Before Jesus left them He told them to STAY until they were clothed with power from the Holy Spirit that He had promised (John 14:16). They, like many of us were thinking that it was a good time to “restore the kingdom.” Jesus reminded both them and us that this is none of our business. What is our business is to bring His kingdom to earth! Be filled with His Spirit and be His witness now and until He returns— or we return to Him. Friends—”fear not!” Do “greater things.” “Ask anything.” “Wake up!” Don’t stay in bed or stand looking into the sky “He is risen”—let us bring His kingdom!