Friday, October 20, 2017

What I Gained From the Sermon I Couldn't Translate

Last night, I attended a small Baptist church. Both the music and the sermon were in Arabic. I can understand a limited number of Arabic words - when they're presented with flip cards or spoken very slowly, one word at a time, with careful enunciation. Strung together in paragraphs with total abandon, those same words are impossible for me to follow. 

Except when it's not.

The pastor preached from John 10:1-27 with a few other passages thrown in for correlation.

The entire sermon could be summed up in one sentence: 

The lives of Christ-followers are defined by their intimate relationships 
with the One they follow. 

Jesus was clear about His role as Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep by name, they know Him AND they follow Him. 

He knows our names.

Ponder that for one long, beautiful moment.

He knows me, and He wants me to know Him, too.               

We are to know our Christ "even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father." (John 10:15) This is a profound truth and one that's often overlooked. 

How well does Jesus know the Father? Perfectly. Intimately. They are completely unified, and only complete by that unexplainable union of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Don't miss this...we're supposed to know our Lord that completely. 

How is this depth of knowing possible? We must do what Jesus did. He spent hours in conversation with God the Father, sometimes all night long. He did His will, even when it was hard. He pressed on with the job the Father had given Him, despite His own desire to avoid the terrible task. 

Jesus surrendered His will in order to accept the will and way of His Father. So must we, if we are to participate in the grand adventure of knowing that God intended.

Surrender to His will and His way

One of the hymns we sang when I was a child sums it up perfectly. "There is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." 

Are we "happy in Jesus"? Do we know Him with the same intimacy He knows the Father? 

If that's the life we want, it's available to us, IF we choose to do what Jesus did. 

Surrender. Pray. Obey.

There's a lesson in those three words that I'll save for another day. For today, let's take a close look at our own lives of faith. Is this the kind of God-relationship we want? Ask God what prevents this grand knowing, and allow Him to remove it, then stay close to the One who knows us by name. 

"I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father know Me and I know the Father..." John 10:14-15 nasb
In case you missed the most recent post, here's the link: When Freedom Is What We Want, Repentance is What We Do 

If you feel led to partner with this ministry, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

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