Let the Star Guide You...
Sunday Evening English Worship
August 5, 2018 - 5:30 pm
Messenger: Don Frank
Bible Passage: Revelation 22:16 (NLT)
Introduction: As you can kind of guess, I am in a bit of a space or astronomy mood this evening. Actually, that's thanks to reading a Bible passage recently that impressed me quite a bit. Let’s just take a look at it right away, shall we? This is Revelation 22:16 and it's my intro Scripture for this evening.
I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this message for the churches. I am both the source of David and the heir to his throne. I am the bright morning star.
That final sentence really struck me. When I think of Jesus and His life, one of the first things I think of is the star that guided everyone to His birth. But here we see that Jesus calls Himself the "Bright Morning Star." And this then reminded me of a Bible study I did here at church several weeks ago on Tuesday. And so, I’d like to unpack that Bible study a little more carefully this evening. And just like that star that guided everyone 2,000 years ago, the star named "Jesus" guides us even today. Let’s look at each one of the 5 points of the star and discover how Jesus leads us.
1. ...By His Fellowship - Matthew 18:20
It seems almost too simple - and we often forget about this one. We have a tendency these days to think that Jesus is with us only when we get together for some kind of church meeting. But I think it goes far beyond that. Recently with the many advances in technology, we can get together in many different ways. I often like to get together with my friends and do chat online. Some people regularly do video conferencing on Skype. And what about just normal activities like coming home from work and being with your family. Well, Jesus promises us that He's going to be with us in all those situations too.
Let's not forget that God made us in His image. He loves us so much that He wanted to come and live right inside of us! He wants so much to have fellowship with us. And we know that He also loves conversation, so He told us to pray always! Second by second, throughout every day, God is there and waiting to fellowship with us - and that's one way that He guides us.
2. ...By His Love - John 17:20-23
Our next Bible passage is truly rich with all the feelings that Christ has for us. But I think the key point in this passage is how much He loves us. Because of that love, He prays for all of his disciples, including us in verse 20. He wants us to be one with each other. He wants the world to believe in Him by way of us in verse 21. And because of that, in verse 22 he tells us that He has already given us His glory to pull us together as one, and then by that, the world will see the splendid Love of God in Jesus - and now in us!
And let me remind you of a key point that I talked about in my last message. When Jesus was asked the question, “What’s the greatest commandment?“ Jesus answered that the 1st commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And the 2nd one is to love your neighbor as yourself. When we are one with God and with each other, we are naturally going to let the love of God flow through us to this world!
3. ...By His Timeless Presence - Matthew 28:20
Then, at the end of His earthly life, just before He took off to go back to heaven, He said these truly wonderful words. Did you notice the first phrase? “And be sure of this.“ It was like He was saying, “If you forget everything else, don’t forget this one thing!" And what was the one thing that He told us not to forget? "I am with you always even to the end of the age." Now, if you don’t mind me saying, that sounds a little bit like when God was talking to Moses - "I AM that I AM." And that’s exactly what Bible scholars agree on. Jesus was promising that He had been with them from long ago, He is with them right then and He would be with them all the way until time came to an end!
You know, I hear a lot of people these days saying that it seems the world is getting faster and faster. I kind of agree with that. Maybe because I’m getting older, it seems like the days are passing so much faster than when I was younger. Our world does seem like it's changing so quickly day by day. But God doesn't use clocks and He doesn't change at all! He always is!
4. ...From His Place of Honor - Romans 8:34
Now, Romans 8:34 tells us so very clearly that no one can touch us now that we are in Christ! Why? Well, it says that Christ died to pay for our sins and He rose again to give us eternal life. When we are baptized, that’s the symbolism. We go down into the water and we die to our old way of life. Then we come up out of the water and that shows that we have new life in Christ.
Then the Bible passage goes on to say that after Christ left the earth and went back to heaven, He received even more honor and sat down at His Father's right hand. We don’t have time here tonight to look at all the passages, but again and again throughout the Old Testament, sitting on the King's right hand was a position of power and honor. It meant that the person sitting there was given all the power of the King Himself! And because He's sitting right beside our Heavenly Father, He is constantly talking to the Father for us. Now, how he can be talking to our Heavenly Father always about all Christians at the same time, I have no idea! But somehow, since He is God, he can do that with no problem at all!
5. ...By His Eternal Prayers - Hebrews 7:25
And now, our 5th point of the star this evening is By His Eternal Prayers, taken from the book of Hebrews 7:25. And this passage too is loaded with great riches. At the beginning of the verse, it tells us that Jesus is able to save us once and for all because we come to God through Him. God will never let go of you and He will never think bad about you once you have faith in Jesus. Talk about a rock-solid promise! Some Christians in the world believe that they can lose their salvation. But I totally disagree! And this passage from Hebrews tells us that we are saved forever!
But not only that, the verse concludes by saying, "He lives to intercede with God on their behalf." I believe that small preposition "to“ means that Jesus is there "for the purpose" of praying for us. It is truly a job that He loves to do! He made us, He lives in us and His job is to pray for us minute by minute, every day. Truly amazing!
Conclusion: So, as our time comes to an end, let’s look back over all that Christ wants to do for us. He wants to bless us with His fellowship, fill our hearts with His love, be with us throughout all of eternity, use His position of honor to bring us glory and to pray for us nonstop throughout all of eternity!
Now, let's close with our final song and then we will finish with our final Bible reading and our closing prayer.
Closing Prayer: As usual, let's take our final Bible passage and read it together.
Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. - Hebrews 7:25 (NLT)
Now let's take this and turn it into our closing prayer and pray it together:
Dear Lord Jesus, we come to God our Father through You right now. Thanks to You, we can have this lovely fellowship, united together as Your Body. We know and believe that You have saved us once for all time. We also know that You will never, ever leave us alone. We know that You are even now living inside each of us. From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank You for praying for us always to our Heavenly Father. Be with us as we go from this place and bring us back again safely for more sweet fellowship. We pray this now in Jesus' name, Amen.