Messages from Pastor Raddatz
June 21, 2020 FATHER’S DAY, Matthew 10:5a, 21-31 Other readings for the day: Jeremiah 20:7-13 and Romans 6:12-23
THE CHALLENGES of FOLLOWING JESUS: Loving God More than Anything and Anyone
Matthew 10:5a, 21-31
Grace mercy and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Dear People of Mount Olive,
Happy Father’s Day…We have a Father who loves us, He is our Master, He has put us in families and relationships where our pride is challenged. He wants to exchange our fear for courage.
Our text is the Gospel reading for today. In Matthew 10 Jesus is sending out his disciples, his followers, and he tells them that they will have authority over evil and power to heal, then he gives them a reality check. He reminds them that there are challenges to being a follower of Jesus. The first place they will find this is in their family.
Verse 21 says, “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved…”
Following Jesus means that we will be cared for by our Heavenly Father: all our sins are forgiven through Jesus Christ. This following of Jesus can bring us into conflict with our personal family and our subsidiary families of church and friends and various groups we are part of.
Jesus is reminding them of the Friday night they will experience in the garden of gethsemane, when Jesus is arrested, tried, and falsely accused. He is punished like a criminal of the state by hanging on a cross until he is dead. If they have done this to Jesus, they will do it to you!!! Your own family will be threatened, and they may turn you in to save their skin.
Do not fear the, for there will come a time when “everything will be revealed” (v. 26). Jesus said, “Have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known…And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell”. (v28).
In the Bible pride does not mean simple arrogance or ostentation. Instead it means hubris: preferring self-will to God's will. Its opposite is called in the Bible following God. Biblical pride is overcome when we can say with Jesus, “Thy will be done.” Source: What is the Biblical definition of pride? – Quora
Our pride is self-serving, and our self-preservation is our pride’s utmost concern.
A father and son arrived in a small western town looking for an uncle whom they had never seen. Suddenly, the father, pointing across the square to a man who was walking away from them, exclaimed, “There goes my uncle!”
His son asked, “How do you know when you have not seen him before?”
“Son, I know him because he walks exactly like my father.”
If we walk in the Spirit, the world should know us by our walk. Source: The Gold Mine, Lee Roberson
What does our walk look like? What does our actions look like? Does our behavior look like our heavenly Father’s behavior or does it look nothing like our heavenly Father’s behavior?
We should not fear the one who can kill the body but fear the one who has the right to condemn us to hell for our sins, our Heavenly Father. God orders us to walk his walk the way he walks and just do not talk his talk.
BE FEARLESS, MEN CAN ONLY KILL THE BODY BUT THEY CANNOT TOUCH YOUR SOUL!
Sparrows are apparently worthless, but none of them falls to the ground without your heavenly father knowing. God knows you so intimately that the very hairs of your head are numbered. It is estimated that you have about 100,000 hairs or hair follicles on your head. (healthline.com) The single point is: "How great Thou art!" We so easily doubt the greatness of God and His loving providence which reaches even the cheapest life in nature.
This could be why the Psalmist wrote, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you, I will praise you as long as I live and in your name I will life up my hands”, Psalm 63:3-4.
FEAR EXCHANGED FOR COURAGE
God orders us to NOT BE AFRAID. How many of you have seen children standing on the side of the pool while their father is ordering them to jump in the water? The children are afraid. What are they most afraid of? They are afraid their father will not catch them, and he will not keep him safe.
Our heavenly father who has begun this good work of faith in you will bring it into completion on the day when Jesus appears again, to judge the world. We are not innocent. We are repentant.
The last sentence of our text is a replication of verse 23. Verse 33 is disturbing, “but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny begore my Father who is in heaven”. If this last sentence of our text bothers you know this: God is satisfied with me because he is satisfied with Jesus Christ, his life, and his death. 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate (one who is called alongside to help, intercessor) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
We have a blessed heavenly father who welcomes us sinners and who loves us and who loves all.
Thanks be to God our heavenly father! And the people say together, AMEN.
Your Fellow Servant, in Christ,
John Raddatz, Vacancy Pastor
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