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Enjoying Jesus – Part 2




Who is He?

(Mark 8:27-29)  Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”

Week 1 – Authentic – real

Week 2 – Relevant – up close and personal

Today – dispelling the myth that Jesus is serious – depressed

Not true – actually enjoyable

If you read your Bible – will see that people loved to be around Jesus

Children, sinners, skeptics, etc

The only people who did not enjoy Jesus

Inauthentic, fake, religious people

Everybody else enjoyed Him

Sometimes – religion today paints a different picture of Jesus

I remember growing up in church – loved God – hated church

Grew up thinking you get extra points if not enjoyable

When I was asked – “Do you want to go to heaven?”

Not if it’s like church – what else do you have?

Hell doesn’t sound good – but friends there

No Laughing Matter

For years I thought it was heresy to consider church “fun”

Why?  Devil doesn’t want you enjoying Jesus – Christianity

(Nehemiah 8:10)  “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

(Psalm 2:4)  “The God who sits in the heavens laughs…”

Laughter is good – Satan would love for you to consider Christianity

No laughing matter

Wants to take the joy and pleasure out of Christianity

Joke – Heard a pastor tell a story about witnessing on the street

Demon in a Baptist church

Satan has the world fooled into thinking

Sin is exciting/fun – serving God is dead/boring

The result?  Many have all an incorrect view of church – Jesus

Let’s set the record straight

(John 10:10)  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

  • The devil wants to steal your faith.

See him three times in scripture – wedge between you and God

How?  By putting a different face on Jesus – not fun

People’s thoughts about prayer, church, Bible – negative

(1 Peter 5:8-9)  “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”

  • The devil wants to kill your freedom.

(Galatians 5:1)  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Freedom to laugh

Freedom to worship

Freedom to be yourself

I remember my first experience in a church like this one

So different from how I was raised – thought irreverent

Deep down inside wanted to be free – wanted what they had

(2 Corinthians 3:17)  “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

  • The devil wants to destroy your future.

This is the ultimate goal – you to miss heaven

Because relationship is the only way to heaven

(Luke 22:31-32)  “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.”

Enjoying Jesus

A lot of people are going to heaven not enjoying the journey

Why?  They’ve never learned how to enjoy Jesus

Here’s how…

  1. Change your view of Jesus.

See it the way it really is

Don’t let Hollywood, art, religion determine your view

Appreciated Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ

Scene where Jesus is having fun with his mother Mary

(1 John 5:11-12)  “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

What is your testimony?  Who is He?

Your answer will determine your relationship with Him

  1. Approach Him through relationship not rules.

Time when I thought you had to do certain things a certain way

Trying to find God in the system or structure

Approached the Bible with a negative bent

Example – 10 commandments – law or life

Today – people try to connect with God through rules

Rules are important – but it cannot substitute relationship

(John 5:39-40)  “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

(1 John 5:3)  “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”

Here’s a real secret to a life-giving relationship with Jesus…

  1. Give Him your whole heart.

(Jeremiah 29:13-14)  “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.

You’ll never know how great it is until you go all the way

Some are afraid – have misconceptions

If you give Him your whole heart – will lose something

(Hebrews 11:6)  “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Once you have this life-giving relationship – must guard it…

  1. Respond to sin with life.

Greatest challenge to enjoying Jesus will be on the tough days

When you do something wrong or

When someone else does something wrong

Apostle Paul – Romans 7 – shares his struggle with his flesh

(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.”

It does not we’re rejecting any moral standard – or a license to sin

But you need to view your struggle the way Jesus does

Doesn’t want to punish – wants to help you

He came to set you free – not make you sorry

  1. Guard your heart from going back.

Prone to systems and rituals – easier than relationships

Guard your relationship with Jesus

Don’t let people pull you into vain systems/structures

(Proverbs 4:23)  “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”