My brothers and sisters, this message this evening is to insure us and to remind us of our relationship with God. Because with God it’s not who we are, but rather it’s who God is. It’s not the position but rather it’s the praise. It’s not about who is in control, but it’s about who holds us. I think I ought to tell you that God don’t need no help to be God. Christ has supreme authority over all creation because He is God’s Son. Nothing existed before Him and nothing and no one can claim authority over Him. In spite of what you heard or how much power you think you have, Christ is the head of the church. It is Jesus who restored the broken relationship between us and God by dying on the cross. Sin and guilt had separated us from God. We didn’t have a clue as to how to get back with God. Oh brothers and sisters, I think I ought to tell you that the death of Christ on the cross made it possible for all things to be reconciled to God. Can I get a witness? But yet there are those who don’t have a clue as what is God’s will in our lives. We go on everyday doing things our way and not the way of God. We think that just of who we are and our titles in the church, we do what we want to do to who we want to do it to in God’s house. But I’ve come to give you a wake up call. In most cases, folk who think they know so much about certain things really don’t have a clue about much at all. My brother and there was a movie out several years ago entitled clueless. In the movie there was a well-to-do teenage girl who seemed to be an expert at girlfriend and boyfriend relationships. She spent most of her time trying to hook up the new girl in school with the right guy. At the same time, she was finding out that she really didn’t have a clue at all about her own feelings. Some of you may remember a past favorite television show about a detective name Columbo. In episode after episode, as he investigated a crime scene and spoke to people who might give him information into what had happened, it seemed as though he was just clueless. But by the show’s end Columbo had caught the guilty party. Oh brothers and sisters, there are some clueless folk in the church. They think that know it all, but they really don’t have a clue about what is the will of God.
It was evident that Columbo was the only one who really had a clue concerning who actual committed the crime. In case some of us may not realize it, all of us are clueless in some areas of our lives. Can I get a witness? The Gospel writer Matthew recounts the story of text at a critical point in the ministry of Jesus. Oh brothers and sisters, the countdown to Calvary has begun and the shadow of that cruel cross seems to be getting larger and larger in the mind of the Master. Jesus now is on His final journey to Jerusalem with His twelve Disciples along beside Him. But sadly, they are not really with Him. Physically they are on the same road with Him and headed in the same direction, but spiritually in terms of their understanding they are worlds apart. In other words their bodies was with Christ, but their minds were on the other side of town. Are y’all going to pray with me. I know y’all want some hoop, if it’s the Lord’s will you will get that later, but right now you need some word in you so you can shout mess out of you. They’ve been following Jesus for about three and half years now, and they still didn’t get it. The were clueless. And I’m afraid this evening that there are some folk here today who are clueless when it comes to knowing what this Christian Journey is all about. Can I get a witness? In lesson after lesson, Jesus keep on referring to the spiritual nature of the Kingdom of God, yet time after time the Disciples have hopes of personal glory in a restored earthly kingdom. We see their personal aspirations throughout the Gospel story. In chapter 19 of Matthew involving the rich young ruler who approaches Jesus. We see it also in Peter’s question to Christ, “What shall we have? What are we going to get our of all of this.” And in response to incidents like these, Jesus tells them the parable of the workers in the vineyard. While walking on the road toward Jerusalem, Jesus calls His Disciples aside, and for the third time He speaks of the specific nature of Messianic Mission. Jesus gives them another clue concerning the impending and particular death He would experience, but they just couldn’t or wouldn’t understand.
They are clueless. Can I get a witness? And in our text, the mother of James and John makes a special request of Jesus on behalf of her sons. She requests that Jesus grant them chief seats above the rest of the His Disciples in the anticipated Kingdom. Jesus is once again confronted with the misunderstanding of those closest to Him. And when the other ten Disciples heard about it, they get angry with these brothers. But all of them are clueless as to what lies ahead. The cross is up the road. The crisis of faith is fastly approaching. This is the time when they really need to stick together. But here they are falling apart. So Jesus has to teach these clueless Disciples another lesson along the way. As Christians many times in some areas of our relationship we too are clueless with Christ and with each other. Y’all ain’t saying nothing. And because this is the case with us, I want to challenge us as believers to move from being clueless to being clued in. After all, we are fellow servants call by God to serve Him by serving one another in a humble way. Can I get a witness? Oh brothers and sisters, Jesus’ words in this text provide us with important clues concerning what He expects of us.
Christ expects certain behaviors of us as His servants in our commitments to Him and to each other. Yet, we fall short in different areas of our lives. Well Hall, what is the evidence that exposed us as clueless Christians with cross-less commitments? My brothers and sister, I’m so glad that you want to know. Because first of all we are clueless Christians, when we seek position without preparation. Can I get a witness in here? These two brothers wanted a position. They wanted chief seats in a restored national kingdom. They wanted to hold the positions of first and second vice-president of the convention. They wanted to be over folk. Don’t y’all get quiet on me now. Just say ouch if it hits you and just say amen if it’s not you. Isn’t it strange that in many of our congregations there are certain folk who want positions without the necessary preparation required to do the job. Some of us are clueless and we forget the fact that in order to be a good leader, you have got to be a good follower.
Like James and John, we often think we know what it takes, but we are really clueless. But Jesus respond to them and to us by asking a question. Can you drink from the cup that I’m going to drank from and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? In other words, we know not what we ask when we ask for the glory of wearing the crown, and ask not for grace to bear the cross on the way to it. You see we want the gold but we don’t want to dig for it. We want the position but we don’t want to work to get there. A lot of folk in positions now don’t need to be there. And there are some folk who can handle the positsion, but don’t want it. And I don’t know whether you know it or not but we got some jealous folk in the church. You got some folk who want somebody’s position and can’t handle their own position. Can I help somebody who has a position or who want a position? Before you consider a position or desire a position, you ought to have relationship with God. Y’all ain’t saying nothing. Van I get somebody from the noisy crowd to help me. Not only that, but you ought to be familiar with the word of God. We got folk in our churches, the head of auxiliaries who don’t have a clue about God and His word. Anybody with me?
Every auxiliary leader, all auxiliary heads ought to be in Bible Study and Sunday School. Every teacher, every deacon, every choir member, every usher ought to be in Bible Study and Sunday School. If you are a teacher, how can you teach something you don’t have clue about? How can you Brother Deacons, pray to a God you’re not familiar with? If you are in the choir, you need to come on out to Bible Study and Sunday School to learn about the God you sing about. Ushers, how can you be a door keeper in God’s house, when you don’t have a clue about His word? I’m talking about clueless Christians with cross-less commitments. And oh brothers and sisters, secondly, we are clueless when we try to use power without principles. What you got to understand is that there is a great difference between the boss complex and the leader model. Anybody on my street? You see a boss drives, but a leader leads. A boss relies on authority, but a leader relies on cooperation. A boss says I, but a leader says we.
A boss creates fear, but a leader creates confidence. A boss know how, but a leader shows how. A boss creates resentment, but a leader breads enthusiasm. A boss fixes blame, but a leader fixes mistakes. A boss makes work hard, but a leader makes work interesting. Can I get a witness? The churches view of power should not be the same as the world’s view of power. Folk who abuse their power, give no thought to right and wrong. Some folk don’t care who they hurt. It’s sad and tragic, but this also happens in leaders who hold positions in the church. It is against the kind of misuse of power that verse 25 of text talks about. But Jesus called them unto Him and said, “Ye know that the princes of gentiles exercise dominion over them and they htat are great exercise authority upon them,” One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned as a pastor is that you don’t give power to folk who cannot live without it. I wish I had some help in here. Some folk feel that just because they are president they are president everywhere they go. Some folk got the idea that if they are in charge here, they are in charge there, they are in charge everywhere they go.
But you got to understand that God allowed you to be president, He allowed you to be chairperson, He allowed you to be a deacon only in the church where you belong. When it look like, if I’m Pastor here and I go to another church and start telling folk what to do, acting like I’m their Pastor? Can I tell you something else? Something is wrong with a person who can’t do a job in the church without first being bestowed with a title. Let me clue you in on something.
I don’t know if you know it or not, but a title won’t get you into the Kingdom. Can I get a witness? Let me hurry to a close lest I not to hold you too much longer. Thirdly, we are clueless Christians when we look for greatest apart from service. Someone once wrote, “True greatness is like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.” Too many Christians are trying to use worldly standards of greatness. You got to understand that self esteem and self-pride have their proper place in our lives, but when they go unchecked by God’s grace, they become distructive.
Something is wrong with someone who builds himself or herself up by always tearing some else down. Listen to what God’s word said. “But it shall not be so among you: but whosever will be great among you , let him be you servant.” You need to be careful how you treat folk on your way to the top. The same folk you stepped on to get there, may the same ones who may have to pick you up if you fall. Can I get a witness? Lastly, we are cluless Christians, when we seek salvation without suffering. There’s an old saying that say, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” But you see salvation and suffering are tied to one another. Oh brothers and sisters, I think I ought to tell you that we have a lot of good leaders in the our church, but you don’t know what they have to endure to get where they are. You don’t know what names they were called before they were appointed to their positions.
You don’t know how many times they heard the phrase, “She or he don’t know what they are doing.” Or the heard the phrase, “If I was president or if I was chairperson, I wouldn’t do it that way.” You don’t know what folk went through to get the title and positions they hold. Sometimes they were only ones who showed up at the meeting. Sometimes when they made a suggestions somebody would cut it down. I tell you suffering and salvation goes hand in hand. But you got to understand that suffering on your part doesn’t earn salvation for you . We are saved because Jesus Christ suffered, bled and died on Calvary a cruel cross for the sin of the world. And if Christ was willing to suffer for us, we ought to be willing to experience some things for Him. Can I get a witness?
* As I hurry on to a close, as believerss in Christ, in this life you will have troubles, trials and tribulations, as well as temptations. There is no way around it, there is a hymn that I love so well that says, “Must Jesus bear the cross Alone and all the world go free?” And the answer came back and said, “No, no, there is a cross for everyone and there is a cross for me.” And you know my brothers and my sisters, I heard Jesus say just the other day, “Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” But I stopped by on my way to glory to tell you my brothers and my sisters, no cross, no crown. That is what we get when we have cross-less commitments. We won’t get a crown. And one of these old days why this life is over if you are committed to the Lord, you shall wear a crown. I don’t know about how you feel about it, but I’ve come too far to turn back now. Just a few more days and setting of the sun, I’m going get my crown. He was born and He lived and died and He was buried, but thanks be to God, He got up early one Sunday morning. Yes, He lives and because He lives, there is hope for a better tomorrow. I’m going home when I tell you. Our hope in Christ is a blessed hope. Our hope in Christ is a sure hope. It won’t let you down. Hope in Christ won’t fail you., But it will preserve you it’s laid yon in heaven. Our hope in Christ is guaranteed by the Father, paid for by the Holy Spirit.
That’s why it’s a blessed hope. For when you stand before God; He’s not going to be looking at you at the way the world looks at. That God of ours won’t be caught up in your earthly accomplishments. He’s not going to be looking for how many awards or medals you won. The God we serve don’t won’t care about how many trophies you got or how many degrees you have. He don’t care about how folk pat you on the back or how high you put yourself on a pedestal. Oh_____ my brothers and my sisters, if you don’t have a clue about what God will be looking for, I come today on my way to Glory to clue you in on what God will be looking for on that great getting up morning. God will be looking for the scars, because the scars will tell Him, I got knocked down, but I got up again. The scars will tell Him, I lost a round sometimes in the boxing ring of life, but I kept on serving. The scars will tell Him, Lord I did the best I could do even though my best seems like it just wasn’t good enough. The scars will tell Him, the way wasn’t always easy, but thank be God I made it.
The scars will tell Him that I had to cry sometimes, but I made it. It wasn’t always joy and peace, but I made it. The scars will tell Him, I didn’t run from trouble, but I did the best I could. I didn’t always win, but I hung in there anyhow. The scars will tell Him. I fought a good fight, I finished my course. I kept the faith. I don’t know about you today, but I can say with assurance today, “My hope in built on nothing less than Jesus blood and His righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” I’ve got a new home waiting for me somewhere beyond the sky. A building not made by hands, eternal in the heavens, Jesus has my mansion waiting. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I thank God for my mansion. I don’t know how you feel about it, but I want to be clued in. Is there anybody here clued in today. If you’re clued in say yeah, say yeah, Oh_________ yeah.