Now here is the cool thing about Jesus. Jesus came along and he challenged the church to do several things in a symbolic manner so that we can remember and say thank you for his death, burial and resurrection. One, is baptism. We go under the water, that’s the old life, out of the water, the new life. We identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
The second is communion, or the Lord’s supper. When we drink the juice and we take the bread, that juice or in some churches, wine, that represents the blood of Jesus. The bread represents the body. We in a tangible way as we partake in the elements are saying a big thank you to Jesus.
Remember God wants us to live life in a think thank tank because when we do that, we will be a one out of ten person, a person who stands in ankle-deep manna, who knows how to appreciate God and others.
We kind of read it like this: “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give me this day my daily bread.” God says, “Wait a minute. You have everything confused. First of all, you seek me first. See the events there? See the succession, there? First, “You seek Me first, then I’ll take care of you.” That’s like a teenager walking in to a father and saying this. “Dad, could I please borrow your new car, but I hate your guts.” “Dad, uh, I need some money for this date. I’m dating this good-looking girl here. It’s the first time she’s gone out with me, but I’ll never do one thing you say.”
So, if you’re going to voice the Lord’s Prayer, we must have to mean every single word in it. So, first of all, we’re to ask for God’s assistance, then we’re to remember His resources. Number three, look back at the last word here, again. It says this, Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.” See those two words before daily? It says, “This day our daily bread.” That word “daily” in the Greek is efiuias and this word totally blew away all the translators of the Bible. They couldn’t find the word, “efiuias.” Where’s “efiuias”? There were translating the Bible into English, they couldn’t find it. They looked, they looked, they looked. They took the Greek classics, Plato, Homer, all of–The Iliad. They couldn’t find “efiuias.”
All right. Everyone stand if you would. Everyone stand and high-five three people and say, “Man I’m glad to have you at Fellowship.” And please remain standing. If you have your Bibles turn to Ephesians 5:25. It is very important many times in reverence to the Holy Scriptures that we stand as we read.
Ephesians 5:25. Please read it along with me as we do this thing together. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Father, you brought each of us here for a reason. Use my vocal chords right now to communicate your timeless truths. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
Please be seated in the presence of the Lord. I have the opportunity to speak a lot. And normally when I speak I try to think about everyone I’m talking to. We’re one church in five locations. Today, though, I’m going to change what I normally do. Today I’m just going to talk to a few. I’m not going to talk to all of you. Yes, you can listen, and I hope you will. But this talk is directed to just a few.
I’m talking today specifically to the single men in the house. And to even be more specific, single men who are passionate followers of Jesus Christ. Now I’m not saying that you just talk it and don’t walk it; I’m talking about you talk it and walk it, you walk it and talk it.
You might think, “Well okay, I’m in church. I guess that means I’m a believer.” Well today when I walked into my garage that did not make me a car. It took you a while to get that, but I’m glad you did. Thank you for showing me the love.
But it’s not just sex. I can’t park my soul outside the bedroom. When you engage in sex outside of marriage, it’s unnatural. You’re taking just one aspect of sex—the physical—and you are doing it with someone in a physical domain, and you think it’s just physical. But see, you can’t do something that does not affect your soul and your mind. You can’t use God. You can’t rape sex. Because when you take sex out of its context, you’re raping it. You’re abusing it. We’re going to find out, you’re spitting on the cross. You’re doing a blasphemous act. You’re thumbing your nose at the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And also, you’re abusing your trinity—your mind, your body, and your soul.
The Bible says in I Thessalonians 4 a lot of stuff about sex. And sometimes people read the Bible, like I Thessalonians, and they’ll say, “Man, that’s so archaic, because the apostle Paul is talking about sexual purity. I mean, how irrelevant is that in today’s culture?”
I mean, why should I even do this message, really? Why should I even talk about this? Because stats show that most of you will do it anyway. Why are we even having this conversation? I could just close the Bible and walk off the stage, because you’re going to do it. What’s a sermon going to do? Really. I mean, you’re a single adult, you’re a student. What’s one sermon going to do? Is it really going to change how you feel, how you act, how you behave sexually? One sermon?
Yeah, it has that kind of power. Because I’m talking about and teaching about the Word of God. I’m talking about a power that is available to all of us. I’m talking about a power that fuels big sex.
Revenge is deadly too. Have you noticed that? When I swallow my anger my stomach keeps score. My body keeps score. There’s so many ailments out there that the medical community are just discovering that relate back to repressed anger. That relate back to the tortilla of death. Psychology it can mess us up. Think about it. Spiritually, scripture says that if we don’t release the people who’ve hurt us, then it messes us up. What do you do when you’re served the tortilla of death? What, what, what do you do? Do you gnaw on it? Do you chew on it? You take that anger and say it’ll be okay. I will settle the score. I will get them back. I will satisfy this need in my life.
You remember Saul over in the Old Testament? Psycho Saul. Saul had everything going for him. He was the toast of the town. He was the man of the hour. Tall, articulate, a leader, he should have fought Goliath yet this Hebrew hill billy, David, stepped in and fought the battle Saul should have fought, David took out Goliath and the Bible says very specifically that Saul looked at David with an eye of envy and jealousy. Saul did not feel the envy and jealousy, no, no, no, he swung over to anger; he began to gnaw on the tortilla of death and he began to get entrapped and enslaved by revenge.
He knocked the props out of David’s life; took away his wife, his rank, his best friend, all of his perks, David and 400 renegade men were on the run. Psycho Saul hired 3,000 of the greatest soldier’s on planet earth to go after David. It’s one thing to have a contract out on you, it’s quite another to have 3,000 Navy Seals coming after you.
You know we’re working on the preparation and the people are here for the presentation. People understand the venue and the menu and they’re partaking in the meal and they’re becoming followers of Jesus Christ.
Church, I want to thank you and I want to give you just a word of encouragement and challenge to keep on keeping on, to keep on keeping the chair as the central piece of furniture in the body of Christ. Because when you have intimacy between the bride of Christ, the church, and bride‑groom, Jesus, what’s the result of intimacy? Reproduction.
So don’t tell me how deep you are with God or how much you like this intense worship. Don’t tell me that unless you see reproduction, because if you’re not seeing reproduction you’re not being a full-court follower of Christ.
Illus: When Fellowship Church was about 3 years old a man who studies church growth all over world came to see us. He talked to a number of us back in day—Owen Goff, Doris Scoggins and Mike Johnson and I. This guy was a nerdy guy, a real brainy type, just unusual. And he was asking us questions and he had a camera filming some of the answers.
And right before he left he said, “Pastor, I would like to share with you a couple of things.”
I said, “okay.”
He said I want to do this in your office. We sat down and he said, “Pastor, I study church development and church growth all over the world, as you very well know. And what’s happening here is not normal. It is just abnormal, the growth, it is unbelievable, praise the Lord.”
I said, “Yes it’s great.”
And he said, “I want tell you to do two things, and you can either take it or leave it. But I have to tell you this, I have to. Number one, whatever you’ve done to get you to where you are today, don’t ever stop.”
I thought, “Wow!” Because basically we’ve kept the chair at the forefront.
Then he said, “Number two, the only people you’ll have to watch out for who will criticize you and try to tear up Fellowship Church are professional Christians. Stay away from them and don’t listen to them.”
You know, professional Christians are UFO’s—unidentified freeloading observers. And you know what, for the most part, by God’s grace and mercy we have done that here at Fellowship Church. And man, it has been just a phenomenal ride.
But just think about the food; think about the delicious food that so many people need to hear around all of our campuses. Think about the bread of life for those who are spiritually malnourished. Think about the living water that is offered and we can be that bread. We can be that water. We can invite them to come to the table and meet Jesus.
What happens? We become self-centered naval gazers, not biblically functioning followers of Christ. So we don’t say, “Jesus, join my story.” No, God invites us, friends, to become a part of his story. There’s a huge difference, a big difference.
So it’s not like, “Oh, good, a little quick Happy Meal. He is going to make me happy and peppy and bursting with love. God, join my greed, join my materialism, join my appetite, join my deal.”
It is not that. It is, “God, you’re working, and you have invited me to become a part of your redemptive novel.”
That’s a totally different deal. And once we do that, then we see how we can share, we’re biblically functioning followers, and we share. Then we see how we can serve, get outside of ourselves. Then we see how we can sow.
And here is the cool thing about Christianity, about following Jesus: When we share he shares with us. When we serve, he serves us. When we sow he sows into our lives.
So this woman is wrestling with this whole situation and Jesus says, the big reveal, “I’m the Messiah. I’m Christ.”
As I talked to the film star I said to her, “You have a couple of options with Jesus.”
She said, “Yes, I think Jesus was a good guy.”
I said, “Wait, he didn’t leave that option open. He’s either insane or the Son of God. He’s either Lord or he’s a loon. You have to make up your mind. That’s the bottom line.”
So Jesus brought the woman at the well to this decision. And obviously she made the decision, because in John 4:28-29, she left her water jar, left the igloo cooler right there, she cruises into town, a town called Sychar and she tells people about this Jesus. And I love this because she says, “Could this be the Christ?”
Hey, spouse, when was the last time you thanked your wife, or you thanked your husband? I don’t know. It should be a regular thing, a strategic thing, a creative thing, a thoughtful thing. I am so passionate about it, I’ll tell you what I have done. I have given all of you a thank you note. If you will look under your seat there, because we are going to write a thank you note right here in church. Is this going to be cool or what? Everybody get a thank you note. This is a biblical thing.
Don’t think it’s not because God went on record to tell me how much I am appreciated by him. Right now, in your minds, say, “God, who should I write this letter to?” It could be to anyone. But if God is putting it on your heart, write it. Write it down. When I am devoted to God, and I understand how great God has been in every way to me, then that will transcend everything I am about. I will display it and I will describe it. I will write back to God and I will write it and describe it and display it to others as well. It’s a lifestyle.
If you don’t think a letter matters that much, I think it was this Thursday, I received a letter from a pastor, kind of a famous pastor, he is about 70 years old. I didn’t realize it, but he was in town for a couple of weekends and he has been attending Fellowship Church. He is getting ready to go back to California. He wrote me the nicest letter. That just really jazzed me. It put some serious RPM’s into me. I felt so good to receive that.
So, if a letter like that can help me, just think how much a letter you write will help someone else. This is the biblical value. It’s a sign of spiritual maturity.
You have never taken the time to leave the land of me. You have never taken the time to hit your knees and say, “Jesus Christ, I am sorry. I am wrong for my forgetfulness.” Pick up a pen or pencil and write your parents a thank you letter. You want to put wind in their sail? You want to change your life? You want to move the heart of God? Young person, do it.
“Well, they know how I feel. You know, it’s not cool.”
Man, you are a fool if you think that, based on scripture. Because in the Old Testament, thank God that we don’t live under the Old Testament, if a child was rebellious against their parents, they would be taken out and stoned. I don’t mean smoking weed, I mean killed. I made up a rap a long time ago. I didn’t mean to say it, but maybe the spirit gave it to me to say it. Parents, if your child ever jams you or disses you, just start rapping.
Here’s my rap. I made it up. Say this parents, just rap back to your child, “I’m the parent. I’m legit. There’s no use arguing. You might as well quit. You can roll your eyes and say it’s not fair. You’re telling God you really don’t care. So, do what I say, all the time, then your life will have serious rhyme, all the time, yours and mine, every time. Thank you very much.”
A lot of you are taking advantage of your boss, advantage of your co-workers, advantage of your neighbors, and you are being ungrateful and unappreciative. So am I. We need to sit down and write them a letter.
The Bible says to thank the spiritual leaders in the local church. Have you ever thanked all the volunteers who are not paid, who park, who greet, who work in hospitality, who tweak the dials, who run a lot of these screens? I’m not talking about staff now. How about it?
You see, God’s timetable and my timetable are different. I say, “God, I want it right now. Give it to me now. You don’t understand, God, I need this,” or “Please bless me here.” But God says, “In my timing.” That’s trusting for the crust. That’s backing off and saying, “God, you take control, I totally trust you.” But see, most of us are afraid. “Hey, wait a minute, God. I can’t put my life in your hands. I’ll turn into some religious maniac. I can’t begin truly to give to the needy or to tithe to the church because, you know what God, I become broke.”
You see, the offering plate is passed around every single Sunday. That’s a faith quiz. God’s saying, I’m quizzing every single person here. The pastor, the worship leader, the deacon, every single person here, God is giving us the quiz. And for those of us that say, “Well, I want to keep this for myself over here,” and “This is mine, I made it. I did it my way,” you’re saying, “God, I don’t trust you to meet my needs.” So a faith quiz.
Three aspects. “Give us this day our daily bread.” The source. Who is that? That’s God. The substance. What’s the substance? Bread, the basic necessities of life. The schedule. What is it? Daily. Daily, daily.
Jesus said over and over in the Bible, He said, “I am the bread of life.” We’ve all heard that phrase. “I am the bread of live.” Christ said that. What in the world was Christ meaning when he said, “I am the bread of life.” What is bread? Bread is the living kernel of wheat. And that living kernel of wheat is taken and, first of all, it’s bruised, it’s crushed, it has to die, and then it’s crushed into white flour.