Taking the Witness Stand is one sermon in a series our church staff is preaching following the NBC series A.D. The Bible Continues.
If you missed the first part of Taking the Witness Stand you can find it here:
Taking the Witness Stand Pt. 1
Now on to today’s portion…
Yesterday we finished up by saying Jesus is our foundation.
I can remember a point many years into my Christian walk when things weren’t going so well for me. My career choices were in question. Financially things weren’t so good. The future looked grim and I can remember looking up to Heaven shaking my fist at God and saying, “You call this a plan? I can do better than this!”
I stopped praying. I stopped reading my Bible. I acted like there was no God. Fortunately, God never acted like there was no me. He dogged my steps. He haunted my dreams at night. He withdrew but stayed just on the edges of my life for weeks, waiting for me to realize the truth that He is the foundation of life. The good news is that in my moment of rejection He remained faithful and when I came back to Him I had learned that there is no such thing as real life without Jesus. He is the center of everything living. He is the foundation of order, and He is the way, the truth and the life.
Today I am with Peter and John. I get it. I cannot help but testify to it. I know that Jesus is the only sure foundation and everybody ought to know who Jesus is. He is why I do what I do. He is my reason. He is my goal. He is my beginning and end.
How about you?
Understanding that Jesus is the foundation of life and everything has caused Him to become my goal. That understanding drove Peter and John to give their lives for the cause of Christ. I am trying to do the same thing.
How about you?
I have a friend, Ben Nelson, who pastors in New Jersey. He writes a blog called Another Red Letter Day . In one of his recent posts he wrote,
In Matthew 20 Jesus gives us a parable that’s full of wonderful images. He paints a scenario from life on the land to teach principles of the kingdom of God.
In this parable He tells of a land owner who owned a vineyard, and needed laborers to work it. I’m guessing harvest was in full swing. He heads to town, to the market, where he knows those looking for work assemble, and five times throughout the day, he hires groups of laborers. He brings people back to his field starting “early in the morning” right up till “the eleventh hour,” with groups starting at the third, sixth, and ninth hours as well.
What can we learn about the kingdom of God from this parable?….
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. – Matthew 20:1 NASB
The parable begins with a premise we have lost in our current day. The landowner (the Lord) went to the marketplace (the world) and looked for laborers (those entering the kingdom of God.)
It seems to me those entering the kingdom of God today, often look at it as an escape from work, a place of rest rather than labor. But Jesus speaks of entering into work.
I have learned that becoming a Christian is not really about having all your problems solved. Oh Jesus solves our problems: He heals; He delivers; He saves; He restores; He fixes broken lives and we desperately need Him to do those things. In fact sometimes our brokenness is the starting point of our relationship. But it is not THE POINT. All of that is secondary.
At its heart becoming a Christian is about changing kingdoms. It is about declaring a new king over your life. It is about making Jesus Lord and master. Romans 10:9 says
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Jesus heals, delivers, saves, restores and fixes because that is the required state of everything in the Kingdom; But as you make your decision to serve Christ please understand that you are becoming a citizen in a Kingdom not a democracy. You leave your vote at the door and take up the decision to obey.
We are called to receive God’s gifts and to obey his commands and sometimes like Peter and John we are called to face opposition in this world for our obedience and yet because Jesus is our foundation.
We Have To Obey God even in the midst of opposition