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Red Letters: Go Get 'Em | Authentic Devotion - Pastor Josiah Elias




With great joy, Pastor Josiah and the elders announced the addition of Rose Necoechea as the new elder. He asked the congregation to pray for the elders as they lead and intercede for our FC community.

 

Pastor reviewed how the mission is to culture like Christ and the vision is Jesus. After His birth, our first encounter with Jesus was when he was twelve years old. Jesus said that He was doing His Father’s work. Then the Holy Spirit led Jesus out into the wilderness. The enemy tried to tempt Jesus three times. He tried to crack Jesus’ identity just like he tries to crack each of ours. May we remember that each of us is His Beloved. When we realize whose we are, we are free to function under His love and care.

 

Still in John 1, we learned of John the Baptist standing with two of his disciples, and they saw Jesus walking by. John “declared, ‘Look the Lamb of God!’ When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.” John 1:36-37 (NLT) In so many words, John proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah.

 

John the Baptist had been making a way for the Lord Jesus. It was a ministry of preparation, and when he saw Jesus and announced who He was, John’s ministry was finished. He had successfully laid a strong foundation for Jesus. John’s two disciples immediately left John to follow Jesus. “When Whom you’ve been waiting for shows up, change everything to follow Him.” Unprecedented times are occurring for FC, and it is go time. John even said,”You yourselves can testify that I said, ’I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’”

John 3:28 (NIV) John continued in John 3:30 “He must become greater; I must become less.” (NIV) That is a good word for us. As we grow closer to the LORD, may He be more in our lives, and we be less.

 

Further in John 1, Andrew, one of John’s disciples who left to follow Jesus, wondered where Jesus was staying. They had spent one afternoon with Jesus, and they knew that Jesus was the Messiah. Then “Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, ’We have found the Messiah’ (which means the ’Christ’).” John 1:41 (NIV) If you find something precious, share it like Andrew did with Simon. Look at the ripple effect of that sharing. “Imagine what God can do with the ones you bring to Him!” Expose people to the LORD-share the Gospel!

 

When Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus, ”Jesus said,’Your name is Simon, son of John-but you will be called Cephas’ (which means ‘Peter’).” John 1:42b (NLT) The LORD does not let the moments pass. We need not let the moments pass by either. For “names matter.” Simon being renamed Peter was significant. People who lift others up are encouragers. May each of us be encouragers.

 

Also Jesus went to Galilee. “He found Philip and said to him,’Come, follow me.’ Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.” John 1:43-44 (NLT) The early disciples Jesus chose were connected as illustrated through Andrew, Peter and Philip being from Bethsaida. They also knew James and John. “The gospel spreads best through established relationships.”

 

To illustrate the power of relationships further, Pastor Josiah shared how Philip looked for Nathanael and told him,

 

“We have found the very person Moses and the prophets

wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from

Nazareth.’

‘Nazareth!’ Exclaimed Nathanael.’Can anything good come from

Nazareth?’

‘Come and see for yourself,’ Philip replied.” John 1:45-46 (NLT)

 

Philip blessed Nathanael through his sharing of the Messiah. You can bless others through your sharing of your experiences with Jesus. You hold the keys to their future. It is important to be busy about the Father’s business. When you share your story, they cannot dispute your experience. David says,”Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good.” Psalm 34:8 (NKJV) You can invite your friends to “Come and see” as Philip did to Nathanael.

 

The LORD met Nathanael through Philip’s introduction.

 

“Jesus said,’Now here is a genuine son of Israel-a man of

complete integrity.’

‘How do you know about me?’ Nathanael asked.

Jesus replied,’I could see you under the fig tree before Philip

found you.’

Then Nathanael exclaimed,’Rabbi, you are the Son of God-

the King of Israel!’”

Jesus asked him,’Do you believe this just because I told

you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see

greater things than this.’” John 1:47-50 (NLT)

 

Rabbis commonly taught under fig trees which have lush big leaves. “The fig tree connects to the devotional life.”

 

In addition, Adam and Even sewed fig leaves together in order to cover their shame from their sin. Often people wear crosses. Are the crosses for style, or do they really reflect who their Savior is in their lives? Others wear t shirts with verses on them. Do they live by and believe the sayings on the shirts they are wearing?  Or are the shirts a fashion statement only? May we walk authentically for and with the LORD. May our outer wear reflect our inner devotional to Him.

 

The Paramount Point is “Don’t ignore the conviction of the Spirt by sewing leaves of devotion over your rebellion.” May I be honest with God, myself and others. Pastor Josiah shared how he lied habitually when he was younger, and it became a habit. However the LORD dealt with Him, and he repented to the LORD and those he hurt. He is free.

 

Pastor Josiah’s admission of  his lying frees each of us to authentically get clean before the LORD and our loved ones. “We cannot be fake.” Do you want to look right or be right? Judas gave Jesus a kiss which usually means affection and devotion. However, that night Judas gave Jesus the kiss of betrayal because it signaled to the soldiers that Jesus was the one to arrest.

May we not look like followers of Jesus, but may we authentically love, obey, and surrender our thoughts, words, and deeds to the LORD. May we genuinely say,”The LORD is my shepherd. I have everything I need.” Psalm 23:1 (NLT)  May we introduce others to our selfless Shepherd.

 

Calendar:

2/7 Midweek Encounter

2/16-LB potluck, worship and Meet to Swap-6:00 in the Activity Center

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