The Pharisees presented a perverted view of what God was like, and Jesus came to show us what God was really like…Love. Legalism attempts to obstruct our view of Jesus and the finished work. Listen in as we look at how legalism (Pharisee-ism) attempts to hinder us from seeing the finished work of the cross, and the peace, rest and true freedom from these hardships, labors and annoyances.
When Israel was preparing to enter the promised land, actually considering the land with the 12 spies; unbelief kept them from entering…however 40 years later when 2 spies went in, they learned some fascinating things about how their enemies really saw them. Listen in and be blessed and never get set back with unbelief, enter His rest!
Many of us from time to time have received a message that says, “an update is now available for your phone.”
Like you, I push “learn more” to read what all this new update is designed to do. Generally, it fixes bugs from the last update, and may install apps we want, or don’t want, and also enhances security, etc.
You can choose to download it (receive) or do nothing.
I usually, Google to read the tech reviews about the recent updates, which brings me to this conclusion; God’s word is perfect, and I have to update my mind daily to the grace of God. I download (receive) it all through the day. I find in updating my mind to the grace of God; I receive more revelation of the love of God. His word fixes bugs (old way of thinking and the world’s philosophy from trying to creep in) and enhances security of what Christ has done for me. Let the security of His love update your thoughts, so that your thoughts become His thoughts, producing “bug” free transformation.
In this message, we look at a recent psychological study of purpose, and their findings of the importance of purpose and longevity. Psychology is good at defining the problem, however the gospel is where we always find the answers to the problems they address. Listen in as we explore the foundation of purpose, and God’s answer to our purpose in Christ Jesus. Also listen to the previous weeks message, as this message is an extension of this topic.
Jesus said in Luke 16:16 NIV “the good news of God’s kingdom is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it.” In my experience, it seems as though everyone has not been forcing their way into it. Perhaps that’s because we have preached the wrong message. The right message gets the right response. And what is the right message? Well here’s a hint. It’s good news. It’s not good and bad news. It’s pure, undiluted good news! Jesus said, “the GOOD NEWS of God’s kingdom is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it!” The good news is that God is unfathomably good in word and deed. He has already shown his goodness and grace to us through Jesus Christ. God loves you so much that he sent his Son to die for you. You don’t have to strive or perform to earn his good approval – you just believe it. Isn’t that good?
When the world hears the good news preached, not a mixture of some good news, some bad, but pure undiluted good news, they will hear what they have looked for and have craved all their lives. It’s built-in us, for we were created IN the image and likeness of God, it’s already there, and so when they hear who they already are and what they have been given, they will not only force their way into it, but even tear open the roof to come into it, even as they did in Mar 2:4 “And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they broke through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.” Healing is good news, especially when there are no conditions to meet, nor strings attached. Acceptance and provision without condition is good news. Jesus attracted the world because of His goodness, and good news, everywhere He went everyone was forcing their way into Him.
Read Mark 5:23-29, and you will see people forcing their way into God’s Kingdom, but first notice the verse I quoted at the beginning which states the “good news” of God’s kingdom is being preached… Only “good news” truly attracts people to force their way into this Kingdom of our loving savior! Not bad news which the world has plenty of, and worse yet, not a mixture of some good, some bad news which religion has an ample supply of. Saying things like God is good all the time, but you better toe the line, read your bible, pray and by all means you better not miss a service, or you will not be fully accepted by God. You see the good news and bad mixed? The mixture actually just turned the good news to bad news. Only religion tries to manipulate the “forcing their way in,” by telling people things like your not accepted unless you come to church, obey everything, and so on. That is not good news my friend. I have met many people who have told me they quit going to church long ago, cause they couldn’t live up to all the manipulation, oops I mean the rules. They gave up on religion, not God. Religion attempts to force, by coercing people into it. The Kingdom of God, on the other hand, reveals who we really are, and our innocence (which requires no effort on our part) a result of the finished work of the cross-good news; God’s unconditional love is so attractive that people force their way into the Kingdom! See the difference?
Now back to Mark 5:23-29. Many times in the gospels you will notice the words “when they heard about Jesus,” then the miracle. This is what it says about the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5. What did “they” hear about Jesus? I’m confident they heard only good news such as His acceptance of the sinner, the fact that Jesus never judged the sinner; he loved and accepted them; they may have heard that He heals and asks nothing in return, people speaking of His kindness, and a truly unconditional love. I’m certain this was the case with this woman, cause she broke many of the “Jewish laws” (laws that could have gotten her stoned to death) to get to Jesus, then she forced her way into Jesus as he was being thronged (force one’s way in) by the crowd, and touched the hem of His garment. Oh what exciting things that the “good news” (which is the gospel) has in store for you! When she heard the good news about Jesus, she came and forced her way into the Kingdom, and got her every need abundantly and forever met, then Jesus ushered her into His peace where she finds eternal rest, (Heb 4) in her promised land, which is Christ! Wow, doesn’t that make you want to force your way in, by hearing the good news which is the discovery of who you are in Him?
What is THE good news conveyed in the gospel? Unconditional love and acceptance; your innocence revealed, no requirements on your part, but Jesus obeyed on our behalf, so that we could experience His love, and acceptance. God is love, therefore, love fulfilled the law. We experience His love, and therefore, we love because He first loved us. True unconditional love, without any obligation is the most powerful force known to mankind, and its attraction is so strong that it draws us like a super-magnet. This is the “force” that draws us to His kingdom of love. The moment we condemn others, add requirements, or rules to be kept or performed in order to qualify ourselves; we replace God’s love with counterfeit conditional love, which repels people like opposing sides of a magnet, this, we call religion. You are required to do certain things to gain God’s love and acceptance, which is a fool’s errand; an impossible task, because you cannot attract but only repel with counterfeit love. The harder you try the more exhausted and frustrated you become. The effortless force of God’s unconditional love effortlessly and forcefully draws you in. Come in, the work is finished, reign in life through the one who did it all for you, our savior-Jesus.
Here is a thought for you. How much time do you think about your ticket when you are in the theater? Sure, the ticket is important and you keep it in your pocket, but don’t you get involved in what is going on around you when you’re in there? Do you see other people staring at their tickets oblivious to where they are at? Of course not. Who in their right mind would go just for that reason?
Ok, let’s use this as a bit of an analogy. The ticket is your forgiveness and the theater is the abundant life Jesus promised us. Unfortunately, religion would have you fixated on the ticket so that you miss the main event!
I would never discount what Jesus did for us concerning sin but there is so much more. If you find yourself in a continuous battle with sin (failing, asking for forgiveness, failing, asking……over and over) then you are missing the abundant life. You were not redeemed to be redeemed over and over.
Stop bringing sacrifices to the Lord when you mess up. Your sacrifices always require another one while His Sacrifice ends them all. As long as you feel the responsibility to ‘deal’ with something Jesus ‘dealt’ with, you’re just looking at the ticket. The relief that seems to come when you pray or do something for God because you sin is nothing like the joy of knowing you are already forgiven, for everything.
Enjoy the show.
PS refreshments will be served!