THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST: FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD
(August 2012 – Beausejour Centennial Ecumenical Service – Pastor Chris Jordan)
- To download a printable version of these notes, click HERE.
- To listen to or download the audio MP3, click HERE.
This weekend, our town of Beausejour is celebrating its centennial (100 years). As a part of the festivities, our local ministerial hosting an ecumenical service, with several of the churches in town participating. I was asked by the ministerial to preach the Word in this service, and these are my notes. Watch for another blog post later today with some pics from the service…
OPENING: HAPPY 100TH ANNIVERSARY, BEAUSEJOUR!
- I’m so excited to be a part of this service, bringing together the churches of Beausejour…
- Discuss – we all have different styles of churches, music, etc. but one thing in common:
- We believe the Bible is the Word of God, and Jesus is the Son of God!
OPENING STORY: Did you ever wonder what God is like?
At the head table in the cafeteria, of a Catholic boarding school, one of the nuns had placed a big bowl of bright red, juicy apples. Beside the bowl, she placed a note that read, Take only one. Remember, God is watching. At the other end of the table was a bowl of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, still warm from the oven. Beside the bowl, was a little note scrawled in a child’s handwriting which read, Take all you want, God’s watching the apples.
- Some people think that God is watching us from a distance, just waiting for us to mess up and then BAM! He gets us… that’s not the God of the Bible!
“When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” (Romans 5:12, NLT).
- Tell the story of Creation, through the Fall, to the promised coming of a Saviour – Jesus!
ILLUSTRATION: We all have a sin nature – we know how to be bad!
A small boy was sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later: “Da-ad….” “What?” “I’m thirsty. Can you bring drink of water?” “No. You had your chance. Lights out.” Five minutes later: “Da-ad…” “WHAT?” “I’m THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water?” “I told you NO!” If you ask again, I’ll have to spank you!!” Five minutes later: “Da-ad…” “WHAT!” “When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?”
- STORY: Of my son Austin and all of his ‘sins’ – drawing on walls, food in the carpet, etc.
- WE HAVE PEACE WITH GOD:
“1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us — they help us learn to endure. 4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.” (Romans 5:1-4, NLT).
- Because Jesus died for our sins, we have peace with God, and the hope of Heaven.
Father Murphy goes into a local bar in Dublin and approaches the first man he sees. “Do you want to go to Heaven?” he asks and the man says, “Indeed I do, Father.” “Then for goodness sake,” commands the priest, “leave this pub right now.” He then goes to the next man, “Do you want to go to Heaven, my son?” And the man answers, “Yes Father, indeed I want to do that very thing.” “Then ye must get out of this pub right now!” orders the priest.
Father Murphy continues this throughout the pub until he comes to the last man. “Do you want to go to Heaven, man?!” exhorts the priest. The man looks at his half-full beer, turns, looks at Father Murphy and says, “No, I don’t, Father.” “You mean to tell me, young man, that when you die, you don’t want to go to Heaven?” asks the priest incredulously. “Oh, well, when I die, yes Father, I certainly do. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now!”
- WE ARE LOVED BY GOD:
“5 And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment. 10 For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life.” (Romans 5:5-10, NLT).
- How much does God love us? While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
- The love of God is totally unconditional – just look at the Cross!
- PERSONAL TESTIMONY: Before Jesus, alcoholic dad and following in his footsteps. Now happily married with four kids and a great church family because of Jesus!
- WE CAN BECOME FRIENDS WITH GOD:
11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God — all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.” (Romans 5:11, NLT).
CLOSING STORY: ON COURAGE:
Many years ago, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, ‘Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.’
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in a bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, ‘Will I start to die right away?’ Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood.
- This story so beautifully illustrates for us the extravagant love of God.
CLOSING TEXT: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13).
Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/