NOT JUST ANOTHER SUNDAY
A Christ That’s Caring
A. Last week I began a series of messages titled "Not Just Another Sunday"
1. Even though it may have gone unnoticed by many in the world, when Jesus Christ rose from the dead it was much more than just another Sunday
a. Because of what happened that day you have a life worthy living
b. What happened that day–that week--reminds us that we have a Savior that’s truly caring
c. READ: Ephesians 3:14-19
B. The most important thing that you’ll ever believe in life, is what you believe about God.
1. Because, what you believe about God affects every other area of your life
a. It affects how you...
deal with your past
face the future
b. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can distort our view about God.
Our background can distort our view
The media–things we read and see on TV
What other people tell us and our own insecurities can distort our view of God
Our sin can distort our view of God
c. The result is that a lot of people have an inaccurate picture of God
d. Some people think that God is like...
An impersonal force (like on Star Wars–may the force be with you)
A judgmental parent that can never be pleased
A cruel tyrant or dictator
2. The problem is that when you don’t understand what God is really like, then you generally make one of two mistakes
a. You deny Him and say "I don’t believe in God."
b. You just create your own little god
A lot of people say things like, "I like to think of God as..." and then fill in the blank
c. Let me say something here–when you get right down to it your opinion about God doesn’t really matter, nor does my opinion really matter
d. What matters is the truth!
e. The truth is that He cares about you and desires more than anything to have a relationship with you
f. Imagine that, the Creator of the universe wants to know you on a personal level
I> HE CARES ENOUGH TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO ME
A. There is only one way that you or I could ever know anything about God–God has chosen to let us understand Him in ways that we can comprehend
1. We are not able to fully understand God
a. Our lives here on earth have a beginning and an end, so it is difficult for us to fathom God who has not beginning or end
b. Yet, God has chosen to give us glimpse of what He is really like
c. So how does He do that?
B. Through Creation–all we have to do is look at the world around us
1. We can see that God is organized
a. The alignment of the planets and the paths intersect one another
b. A full moon can be pretty impressive, but just think about planets like Saturn which has 31 moons and they never run into each other
c. We’re just the right distance from the sun making life possible.
2. By looking at nature we know that God is powerful
a. All we have to do is consider the power of the sun, the wind, the power in the waves of the ocean or even in a single atom.
3. We know that God is creative and loves variety
a. Look at all of the different species, smells, tastes
4. When we look at a sunset we are reminded that God loves beauty
a. You are reminded that God loves beauty every time you look at your spouse
b. And every time you look in the mirror you are reminded that God has a sense of humor
C. But, the most important things that you need to know about God your can’t learn from nature
1. If all we did was look at the world, we would have a very limited view of God
2. So, God came up with a second way to reveal Himself to us
a. 2000 years ago, God came to earth in human form so humans could understand Him
b. Col. 1:15 (LB)
"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God."
3. When Jesus was on the earth He said--John 14:9 (NIV)
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
a. That’s a pretty bold statement when you think about it
b. Of course, Jesus made a lot of bold statements
"I am God"
"I am the only way to heaven"
"I am the way, the truth and the life. Nobody comes to the Father but by Me."
c. He said, "I’m it. If you’ve seen me then you’ve see God."
D. Critical Question - Was He telling the truth?
1. When He said, "I’m God and when you see Me, I’m what god’s like and I’m the only way to heave."
a. Was He telling the truth or was He just a big con man
2. The most important issue you will ever have to settle in your life is, "Is Jesus Christ God or fraud?"
a. Your answer to that question will determine not only the rest of the your life
b. But it will determine your eternity–Is Jesus Christ God or fraud?
3. Some people want a middle ground–"Well he was a great man, a great teacher, or prophet."
a. But, He didn’t claim to be that–He claimed to be God
Good teachers didn’t claim to be God.
ILL> If I stood up here this morning and said, "My name is Doug and I’m a good teacher. Listen to what I have to say." Well, we could debate that one way or the other.
But I said, "My name is Doug and I’m God" that changes things quite a bit. You would say that either I’ve lost of mind or I am who I say I am.
That’s the way it is with Jesus. All or nothing. Pass or fail.
God or fraud.
E. How do we know that He’s God and not a fraud?
1. Jesus said, "I’m going to prove it. I’m going to prove it by letting them kill Me. I’m going to go to the cross, die for the sin of the world. Then three days later, after I’ve died and been buried, I’m going to come back to life and prove that I am who I say I am.
a. And that’s exactly what He did!
b. That’s why it was not just another Sunday, because on that day He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is the Son of God, risen from the grave, having paid the price for all of our sins!
c. That’s why history is divided into A.D. an B.C. because He did exactly what He said He was going to do
d. He came back–He appeared to His disciples
e. On one occasion He appeared to a crowd of more than 500 people proving that He had risen
f. This is one of the ways in which God has boldly proclaimed that He cares for you and me!
II> HE CARES ENOUGH TO RESCUE ME
A. Have you ever needed rescued?
ILL> This past January we were in Costa Maya, a little fishing village in Mexico. Alan, Ashlee and I decided to go snorkeling. Right before going into the water the guide asked me if I need a lifevest? I had been snorkeling before, I float pretty well, so I said no.
I got into the water and waited for Ashlee. There was a current that was taking us away from the boat. I was trying to help Ashlee and was getting tired. On top of that the water was rough and every time I put my head into the water my snorkel would fill up with water. Between trying to help Ashlee, fighting the current, and taking in water I was in trouble.
I finally called for help and swam toward another boat. From the look in the guy’s eyes in the boat I could tell that he didn’t speak English. He had no ladder to get into the boat so all I could do was hold on.
Finally, our guide brought came over and I could tell that he was wondering how this big, strong 120 pound Mexican was going to get me out of the water and into a boat. He put a life jacket under my arms and pulled me to the other boat and it was all I could do to climb up the ladder.
B. There are a lot of people in the world today who need to be rescued, but they don’t have the slightest idea that they need it.
1. You may never have realized how much you need a Savior, but you do
a. If you didn’t need a Savior, Jesus wouldn’t have come to earth and died on the cross for you
b. He wouldn’t have wasted the effort if you didn’t need somebody to rescue you
c. He wouldn’t have gone through the torture and the pain
d. Galatians 1:4 (NIV)
[Jesus] gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age
C. Jesus wants to rescue you from...
1. The Guilt of My Past
a. The Bible says that we’ve all made some mistakes
Romans 3:23 (NIV)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
b. The good news is that ...
Heb. 9:15 (LB)
Christ died to rescue us from the penalty of our sins
2. A Meaningless Life
a. John 10:10 (NCV)
Jesus: I came to give life--life in all its fullness.
b. God wants you to do more than just muddle through life
c. He has a purpose and a plan for your life–He wants you to have life to the full
3. The Fear of Death
a. Because Jesus cares for you He has provided a wonderful future
b. John 14:1-3 (NIV)
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
c. When we have a real relationship with God we don’t have to worry about the future
d. Jesus taught that there is a literal place called heaven and another place called hell
He believed in them and so should we
He died so we wouldn’t have to spend eternity in hell
e. I have to admit that I don’t understand exactly how it is that Jesus could die 2000 years ago for sins that I haven’t even committed yet, but that Bible assures us that all of our sins are covered by His blood.
f. Here’s the thing–you don’t have to understand it all–you just need to grab onto it
ILL> When somebody throws you a life vest you don’t say, "Will this hold me up? How did you get it here?" You just grab onto it and refuse to let go.
g. In a similar way we need to grab onto Jesus, start a relationship with Him, allow Him to be the Lord and Savior of our lives
ILL> Some here this morning are living lives that are headed for disaster. You’re kind of like the guy that jumped off the 50th floor of a building and 20 stories down somebody yell’s, "How’s it going?" and he answers, "So far, so good."
h. If that’s the kind of life you’re living then you need to know that God brought you here this morning to get your attention.
i. He cares about you and about your eternity.
A. God cares about you and wants to have a relationship with you.
ILL> He’s Crazy About You
If God had a refrigerator, your picture wold be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be inside
He send you flowers eery spring and a sunrise every morning
Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen.
He can live anywhere in the universe and He chose your heart.
What about the gift He sent you in Bethlehem?
Not to mention that Friday at Calvary!
He’s loaned you everything you own.
He speaks to you daily in a still small voice.
He had shown you a perfect way to live, do you notice?
Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you!