Who Are You?

By on November 4, 2018

Part 27 in Sermon Series: A Region Ripe for Revival

Scripture reading from Luke 13:24-25

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One Comment to “Who Are You?”

  1. Donald McMahon
    November 5, 2018

    “Who Are You?” (Luke 13:24-25)(11.4.18)
    Luke 13:24-25 (NIV84)
    24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
    “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
    The word of God for the people of God.
    Title: Who Are You?
    LET US PRAY.
    INTRODUCTION:
    During this past six months of our sermon series, A Region Ripe for Revival, I have told you several times that each of us needs to be revived. Today’s message is a coalescing of several streams coming together. There is the terrifying thought we heard last week that we could be turned away from the narrow door because the owner of the house does not know us. This warning creates the necessity of self-examination to see if we really know who we are.
    Last Sunday during Fellowship Time, we were blessed by receiving our AED, our Automatic Electronic Defibrillator. When Rose McCarthy was presenting it during Fellowship hour, she explained that it was a Lamborghini. In other words, it was a state of the art piece of equipment. It is high-end and guides you step by step in bringing a cardiac arrest patient back to life. Later, after someone’s surprising response, it occurred to me that it would be a blessing if we had a spiritual equivalent. So many need their faith charged with power.
    On Monday, I started reading The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes by Robert McGee. It was recommended to me by Pastor Jeff from Trinity Alliance Church, which is eight miles up Moss Mill Road. Before becoming a pastor, he was a counselor and counseling is still a big part of his ministry. A few weeks ago, he shared with the Stockton Christian Fellowship that the key to counseling is to determine the one big lie a person believes about themselves and replace it with what God says about them. I know for a fact that many of you would be blessed by working through this book.
    AND, I confess to you this morning that pastors, this pastor, wonder if this is truly our calling in life. After preaching on revival for six months; after asking everyone to pray for the Lord Jesus to grow Emmaus Church to 150; last Sunday’s attendance was down to 43 and the previous Sunday was 40. So, I tend to wonder if people don’t come to church, does that mean that I am failing? Does that mean I am a failure? So, I too need to hear today’s message of encouragement.
    BODY:
    My granddaughter, Rachel, is taking chemistry this year and I am supposed to be helping her. Now, I last took chemistry about 45 years ago. Believe it or not, there have been some advancements in chemistry since then. She is learning things I never learned, but I am supposed to help her.
    Here is the thing, she is very smart, but she doesn’t think she is good at math or science. Although she has gotten nearly all A’s in math and science over the years, she thinks any of her success is only due to hard work and my help.
    Her biggest obstacle is her lack of belief in her own abilities. She is smarter than me. I have identified another area of weakness though. She is super at using her phone to look for help on the Internet. Where she is weaker is in using her book. I think it is a generational thing. I try to teach her to use her book. Likewise, I want to show you what God’s book says about you and me.
    When asked, “Who are you?” The answer should be in accordance with this: In Jesus Christ I am accepted. I am secure. I am significant. I was created in the image of God and in Jesus I become fully human.
    WHO I AM IN CHRIST:
    I AM ACCEPTED:
    John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
    1 John 3:1–2 (NIV84)
    How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
    Most Sundays, other than Communion Sundays, we have an altar call. I read scripture as people pray at the rail. Then I pray over everyone. When I dismiss those at the rail, I almost always proclaim the same truth, “Rise and go with the confidence that you are the children of the living God.” This is important for you to believe about yourselves. You need to live into this identity.
    Jesus said in John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
    We too have Jesus’ teaching. This is a promise given to the disciples and all disciples of Jesus, and He calls us His friends.
    GOD FRIENDED ME: It has finally happened. God, the Creator of all things has entered cyberspace as evidenced by this new show.
    *I sure hope God “Likes” my sermon posts.
    *Do we have to send God a friend request or are we supposed to wait for God to send us the request?
    Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
    No matter what we use to be, our faith in God’s Son has neutralized the past and reconciled the broken relationship between each of us and God. There is peace.
    1 Corinthians 6:17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
    Think about what it means to be united with Jesus our Savior. What a blessed thought this is for anyone doubting their self-worth.
    1 Corinthians 6:19–20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
    How were you bought? You were bought with Jesus’ blood. You were bought with Jesus’ life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. You are that valuable. God loves you that much.
    Let’s get real here. Maybe you have asked this out loud, but surely most everyone thinks this question: “If God loves me, why did I have to go through “x;” or, why am I going through “x?”
    Oswald Chambers gives one answer to those questions in the November 1st entry of My Utmost for His Highest:
    “The first thing God does is get us grounded on strong reality and truth. He does this until our cares for ourselves individually have been brought into submission to His way for the purpose of His redemption. Why shouldn’t we experience heartbreak? Through those doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son.
    Most of us collapse at the first grip of pain. We sit down at the door of God’s purpose and enter a slow death through self-pity. And all the so-called Christian sympathy of others helps us to our deathbed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, as if to say, “Enter into fellowship with Me; arise and shine.” If God can accomplish His purposes in this world through a broken heart, then why not thank Him for breaking yours?”
    1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
    How can you be part of the body of Christ and not be significant? Paul teaches that every part of the body plays a part in the health of the whole body. But remember that there is a concurrent responsibility to that body.
    Colossians 1:13–14 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    Colossians 2:9–10 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
    Remember that this is a process. All wounds take time to heal and for some they are lifelong wounds they are facing. A lot of what I am sharing with you, you already know headwise. The key is to know it heartwise; in your essence; in your being. Believe God. Realize that anything that contradicts God is a lie and of the Devil.
    Hebrews 4:14–16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
    I AM SECURE:
    Romans 8:1–2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
    Satan constantly accuses you. Satan constantly bombards your every insecurity. Satan constantly tries to undermine your confidence in what Jesus accomplished for us. That is why God gives us this very simple reply, “Satan, you are a liar. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Get behind me Satan”
    Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
    Do not look at how bad your circumstances are. Look at how good your God is. (repeat)
    Romans 8:31–39 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    2 Corinthians 1:21–22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
    Colossians 3:1–4 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
    Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
    Where do you place your confidence? God’s purposes cannot be defeated.
    2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
    1 John 5:18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.
    I AM SIGNIFICANT:
    John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
    2 Corinthians 5:17–21 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
    Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
    Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
    CONCLUSION:
    This week at Stockton Christian Fellowship, a young woman named Madison shared her testimony. She was born in China. She doesn’t know exactly where, only that as a newborn infant she was put into an orphanage. It was a poor orphanage and not well staffed. She was there about 18 months and then she was moved to a city and put into foster care.
    They were trying to place her for adoption and the match was for a couple here in New Jersey. The problem was that this couple wanted a baby baby and Madison was going to be nearly two years old by the time all the arrangements were finalized. The prospective adoptive mother prayed about it and decided that if they had been matched it must have been for a good reason.
    When Madison was 10 years old she heard about being a new creation but didn’t know what they were talking about. When her mother explained that Jesus was the Son of God and those that believe that become new creations like Him. Madison made a decision for Jesus Christ but she did not fully comprehend yet.
    When she was 16, Madison was working with younger children at church. She realized that a lot of these kids had serious problems, but she had been focused on herself like a typical teenager. When her heart was touched by these struggling kids, and she knew how blessed she was, Madison gave her life to Jesus.
    All of Madison’s siblings were adopted. It was never hidden from them and they knew that they were wanted and loved by their adoptive parents. Tuesday night, she said, “I didn’t know my identity; my birth parents, or my birthplace. But it is ok, because my identity is in Christ. I love how I can see God’s hand on my whole life!” And, all those hearing her testimony applauded.
    November 1st was All Saints Day. The Bible often refers to God’s people as saints. Charles Stanley asks and answers, “So what qualifies a person to be a saint? Only one thing is required: that a person accept—receive, believe, and personally embrace—the sacrificial, atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is what qualifies us to be saints. Nothing else is required.
    The only reliable source of accurate, wise, eternal information about you is God. He alone loves you unconditionally, understands you fully, and knows the fullness of purpose that He has built into your life and that He will help bring to pass as you trust Him.”
    Who are you? You are a child of God. You are Jesus’ friend. You are part of the body of Christ. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are a saint. My friends your identity and self-worth are found in your Savior, the Lord Jesus. Let us rejoice in these truths. Let our souls, our spirits be revived into a flourishing faith.
    Amen and amen. Let us pray.

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