Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jesus is Relevant

    

     Wow, it's midterms now on campus. Students all around me are stressed more than ever. Even if you are not a student, life can be plain hard sometimes. 

Let's start with this short little story:

     There was this college professor. A week before midterm exams, she revealed to her students that they are going to have to cover a crazy huge amount of material on the exam. As she told this, all kinds of tension built up in the room. The students were sighing and gasping, thinking this is going to be impossible to pass. The following week, the professor walked in, tossed the stack graded papers on her desk, and announced, “Class, after I left here last week, the Lord spoke to me. He said, “Thanks, professor. I haven’t heard from some of those students in years!”

On a serious note, who has been feeling drained, lacking sleep, getting homesick, and stressed out?

I want to address the question; how relevant is Jesus? or What does Jesus matter to me right now? Not only does Jesus matter right now, Jesus matters on a significant level.
1.      First of all, we are all in need.
a.       We have to deal with loneliness, guilt, worthiness, stress, emptiness, falling short, missing the mark, sinning, feeling drained, depressed, burdened, longing for something more, and searching for acceptance and security…
b.      Quick statistics
                                                              i.      American College Health Association reports almost 50% of college students will be so depressed during college they will be unable to function.
                                                            ii.      Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among these students.
                                                          iii.      In a recent survey by MTV, 80% of college students said they felt stressed out
                                                          iv.      42% Felt lonely
                                                            v.      Students are tempted to turn to alcohol, drug, and sexual experimentation to fill those needs.
Jesus offers a solution to those needs.
a.       (Matt 9:12-13) Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick… For I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.”
                                                              i.      Calling the sick, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and calling the sinners to him.
b.      (Matt 11:28-30) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
                                                              i.      Greek: Rest= Anapauo (an-ap-ow’o). to permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength
                                                            ii.      Some see God as an angry God. Wanting to punish people. No, he offers rest and revovery. He goes on to offer even more.
c.       (Matt 6:25) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, about your body, or what you will wear…”
d.      (Matt 6:33) “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
e.       (2Peter 1:3) “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through knowledge of him…”
                                                              i.      This was written to believers
f.       (John 6:35) Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
g.       (James 4:8) “Come near to God and he will come near to you”
                                                              i.      Connect’s theme verse
h.      (John 7:38) Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
i.         (1 John 4:16) And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
                                                              i.      Relying on God and living in his love will only help us love others.
j.        (Matthew 28:20) “And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
                                                              i.      Untill we die or Jesus comes back.
Accepting Christ Fills us with the Holy Spirit
a.       The Holy Spirit:
                                                              i.      In short: Similar to a human consisting of body, soul, and spirit, God is one God in three parts: Father (God), son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
                                                            ii.      He lives in you (Ephesians 1:13)
                                                          iii.      He encourages, comforts, and helps you (John 14:6, Romans 8:26)
                                                          iv.      He guides you (Romans 8:14)
                                                            v.      He is the source of abundant life (John 7:37-39)

     Where does all of this leave us? What does Jesus matter to me right now?
Review: We are so in need. Statistics so it, my own life shows it. We can’t do this alone. Jesus makes it very clear he is the only answer. He is the answer to my problems right now right here.

     If you are not currently following Christ: Christ is calling you, “Come to me, believe in me, seek me, I will give you rest, I will quench your thirsts, I will give you life, I will give you everything you need, and I will never leave you.”
·         You can respond in prayer (talking to God all about the heart) “Jesus I believe in you and I want to seek you. Please forgive me of my sins and allow me to be who you planned for me to be.”

     If you are following Jesus: I challenge you to evaluate where you are now.
·         How much are you pressing into Jesus? Where do you turn for your problems? What or who is your source for everything you do? Take a deep look at your struggles and press into Jesus.

It all comes down to two words: ONLY JESUS!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Light in the Darkness: A Good Example

video
     Throughout the whole bible there is a theme of light and darkness. Jesus takes it to the next level when he calls for us to be a light in the darkness. 


     What does this theme of "light" mean? And what exactly was Jesus meaning when he called us to be a light. Well, let's see what the word has to say about this...

  •       Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:3-5 NIV)
  •      When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)


    •  Who is the light?
  •      "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
  •       "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16)
  •      Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. (Philippians 2:14-16)
  •      Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
  •      For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:8-16)


    • What are we called to do?
    • Have you ever seen anyone almost physically radiating with light?

  •      If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7)
    • What if we don't walk in the light? And if we do?
    • What are actual ways we find our selves walking in darkness? actual ways to walk in the light?
  •      Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
    • What is the significance or reason we are called to be in the light? (1Peter 2:11-12)
  •      (First read Acts 13:47, then read the context 46-48) Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For this is what the Lord has commanded us: " 'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth."When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. (Acts 13:46-48)  
    • What is the significance or the reason that we are called to be in the light?
      • What other good things from being in the light?
     In conclusion, Jesus calls us all to be in the light. Doing so will bring others to Christ and will bring glory to him. See this study as a challenge or an opportunity to evaluate areas in your life that may be in darkness and areas in the light. Try to begin to look at things through a filter of dark vs. light. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

WHY JUSUS?

So someone may ask you (or you may be asking) "Why Jesus?" 

I mean, there are lots of religions, world views, famous people in history, so what's so unique about Jesus? Well, there are lots of reasons. For time and simplicity, we can focus on what Jesus's message was strait from his mouth in the bible. His message is very unique and is an awesome reason to choose Him. 

First of all, Jesus loves you and wants to give you a full life.

a.       As the father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (Jn 15:9)
But there’s the Sin separation.
a.       Sin is the unbelief in me (Jn. 16:9)
b.      Everyone who sins is a slave of sin. (Jn. 8:34)
c.       They will go away to punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. (Mt 25:46)
Jesus is the “way” to fix that sepperation
a.        God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone how believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16)
It’s your decision to accept Jesus personally.

You can watch my "Why Jesus" talk on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=Uxsf0Egb77k&feature=player_embedded