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!

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