Today’s message summary of April 22, 2018 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Lord, I pray that you will minister to us in order that we may see the richness of all of the things that you have given to us. Thank you, Lord, for choosing to love each and every one of us.
The church is a learning institution.
When a person is saved and becomes part of a church, the life of that person changes. All relationships of the person change because of the teaching of God’s Word. The relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit changes.
It also changes the perception of everyone else in one’s life. You see people differently and others will see you differently, as well. Some of your old friends will not follow where you are going, but you will acquire new relationships. It is all part of being a new creation in Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
God becomes the lens with which you are now able to see things.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
God is developing your ability to truly love Him. His faithfulness has to be learned over time. The evidence comes from stepping out, trusting Him and seeing the results of His work in your life. There is security in Jesus Christ as you learn more about Him and trust in Him.
Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
You have to love yourself before you can love others. That love emanates from God’s love for you (1 John 4:8). You are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and God desires for you to honor Him (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
1 John 4:8-12
The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us.
Give to everyone who asks you, and from someone who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.
All of this is summarized in the following passage:
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor and yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
Everything in the bible is about these two principles. Everything about the church encompasses these two principles.
Jesus came to reveal how these two principles work in real life.
Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
The church can only be built on the headship of Jesus Christ…not on a pastor or its members.
“Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished.
We have to learn the moral law of God. Our sinful nature fights against the moral law of God.
We are to learn how to serve and love Him, and how to serve and love each other.
In the church, Jesus is the Chief Shepherd. He is the head of the church who provides for those in the church.
1 Peter 5:1-7
I exhort the elders among you as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory about to be revealed: Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but willingly, as God would have you; not out of greed for money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because
God resists the proud
but gives grace to the humble.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. This happens because he is a hired hand and doesn’t care about the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me, just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.
Jesus knows His sheep. All that are serving under Him are under-shepherds.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Men will rise up even from your own number and distort the truth to lure the disciples into following them.
There is an order of leadership within the church, and our lives are to model this order within leadership.
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.
Jesus is responsible for feeding and caring for you in a spiritual manner. His job is to get it to the table…and your job is to eat His provision.
When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to him, ‘you know that I love you.” “Feed my lambs,” he told him. A second time he asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” he said to him, “you know that I love you.” “Shepherd my sheep,” he told him. He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved that he asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” “Feed my sheep,” Jesus said.
It is here where Peter learns of his responsibility when Jesus encourages him to share the gospel to those that do not belong to him. With love comes responsibility to care for those outside of yourself. Those who love Jesus Christ understand what needs to take place.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
The evidence of loving Jesus Christ will be in how you treat His sheep. He knows the heart of those who are following Him.