Sunday 6th September

Service Transcript & Video

Let’s  throw open the doors and welcome JESUS back into   this church.                                        Revelation 3v 14-22

I love this passage…

I love that the Spirit of GOD would speak to us.. the people of GOD… through the Bible.. the WORD of GOD (v22)

I would love that to happen to YOU this morning… 

those of you…. in this room here in SST….. 

those at home…      in your living room

I want to encourage you right NOW.. 

wherever You are to MAKE ROOM to encounter JESUS and hear JESUS speaking to you…

Because He longs to do that this morning…

I know that Jesus longs to speak to you…  

so clearly…   lovingly… so personally.. so powerfully….

And speak to US as church….. 

in this room or in your living room… 

collectively… unmistakably…. 

In a way that will

Break our hearts..

Renew our minds..

Challenge our wills..

Encourage our spirits 

Transform our lives…

 

And release and unleash us into … living out this message in  concrete ways this week..

 

Reading this letter from JESUS to this church in Laodicia  in Revelation 3

You can sense how heartbroken Jesus is as HE speaks so lovingly (v19)…

To them….     and to us in SSt

To JESUS it FEELS like.

He’s locked outside His own church doors..

He feels like he is excluded from His own people..

Standing outside the door of those who profess to worship and honour Him…

The doors are locked.. their hearts are closed…. 

He can’t get in..

And (v20) Jesus is knocking… knocking.. knocking… continuously….   saying to His people…

                Let Me come in…  right in….. right into the centre of your hearts and lives and relationships and living…

 

The greatest need   of the Church to-day is the Presence of God..

Quote Tozer:

“ The world is perishing for the lack of the knowledge of GOD and the Church is famishing for want of HIS Presence….

 

It’s true…  Look at our world…

Our world out there KNOWS that there is something wrong…

Our town has so many lovely but lost people who are endlessly searching.. struggling… seeking.. wrestling… questioning…

With all kinds of fears.. anxieties .. uncertainties…

 NOT sure HOW to cope with COVID… 

Never mind HOW to cope with LIFE..

Looking for Love…. meaning.. purpose… happiness.. and HOPE

Searching for all the right things.. in all the wrong places..

 

What Donaghadee needs most of all…. is a church family  that is filled with the Presence of JESUS

A church filled with people who are alive.. vibrant… with the Life of JESUS…  the LOVE of JESUS…

where the Presence of God amongst us when we meet together is so…

tangible…  touchable…  tastable…  unmistakable…

And NOT JUST… in moments like these on Sundays when we gather…  either physically or digitally..

BUT… when we are scattered on Mondays… into homes.. workplaces.. social spaces… schools and wherever you go!!

 

Look at the words of JESUS

The concerns of JESUS

The disappointment of JESUS

 The heartbreak of JESUS.. in these verses

 

  (v15)  I KNOW YOUR DEEDS…

I know YOU…. Of course I know YOU

I know HOW You live… 

your lives.. your struggles… your pressures..

 your fears and hopes and dreams and disappointments..

You and I are known BY JESUS this morning…

EVERY ache.. every pain.. every JOY… every fear… every anxiety.. every sin…

You and  I are KNOWN by Jesus… Loved By JESUS…. Precious to JESUS….

Q. Didn’t He leave HEAVEN and come here to this hurting, broken… messed up world of ours…. 

 to live for you… die for you.. rise again for you.. 

JESUS lives in heaven for you.. 

constantly talks to the father about you in heaven..

You are known.. You are loved.. you are precious…

 

 JESUS knows us… 

EVERYTHING there is to know about us…

 Not just the stuff that we see and know about each other..

The colour of your hair..

The odd shape of your nose..

You age… your looks… 

BUT the deeper stuff inside you

your secrets…secret fears…hopes.. dreams..sins..

Jesus knows us much deeper within…

He knows our hearts…

He says to the church back then and  to us in SST to-day… 

(v15)  I KNOW your deeds …that you are neither cold or hot… Neither one thing or the other….

THERE were Cold springs in nearby Colossae which refreshed people on a boiling hot Middle Eastern day

There were Hot springs in Hierapolis 5mls/8klms away with  healing properties  and heat on a cold Middle Eastern night..

But Laodicia had NO water supply of their own so they pumped water along these pipes from the hot springs of Hieropolis… and by the time the water arrived in the city through the clay irrigation pipes it was tepid and warm…. And YUK !!  

it was lukewarm…. Neither HOT or cold…

That’s the  contrast that JESUS  is making is between the hot medicinal waters of Hierapolis and the cold, refreshing waters of Colossae. 

The spirituality of the church in Laodicea was neither healing nor life-giving. 

It was instead completely ineffective in its self-sufficiency and self reliance….

As a city… they were rich…. 

They had a famous medical school which specialized in eye ointment..

 a powerful banking financial sector… 

a fashion industry that specially in black wool….

This was a city that needed nobody…. 

Depended on No one… 

Had everything going for them….

But Jesus is saying that as a church… 

You are like your water supply… 

lukewarm…. Insipid…. YUK…  

Lukewarm water was in fact used as an agent to induce vomiting.

Jesus says to His church whom He loves… 

I am about to vomit YOU out of My mouth. (v16)

In their self-sufficiency, the church of Laodicea has in some way made Christ an outsider to the congregation that bears HIS name….  

pushed CHRIST OUT from the centre…. Out to the margins of their church and personal lives…  

While still professing HIS NAME… 

while still meeting to worship and praise… 

and JESUS is heartbroken

 with HIS people.. His church…  His beautiful bride..

 

So what’s the remedy??

(v19)  be earnest and repent..

Be broken about the things in our lives that break the heart of JESUS…

Be radically honest.. open.. vulnerable to JESUS so that He can put HIS finger on the things in ..

Our lives.. our attitudes.. our priorities.. our behaviour,

 our words… our actions…  anything.. everything inside us and outside…

That’s NOT from JESUS… 

that are an offense to JESUS…

Things in YOUR life and mine …

that have to go… 

need to change…  

have to be broken off… 

turned away from..

So that JESUS  can take centre stage in our lives again…

 

That’s where we need to open wide the doors of this church…. 

and welcome JESUS back into the CORE of our church life… our relationships… our community…

Would you be willing this morning to: 

Speak to Him lovingly and tell Him earnestly…

We want YOUR Presence inside our church JESUS

We are desperate for YOUR Presence inside  our lives JESUS.. so that it changes us on the outside…

 

We are crying out earnestly for MORE of YOU JESUS and LESS of us…

 

This is Vision Sunday 

 1st Sunday in September when I try and share the VISION for us as a church for the next 3 months….  

What’s the VISION.. the BIG PICTURE.. the MAIN THING for us as  a church to pursue…??

                  The Vision is JESUS…

JESUS back in the centre…

JESUS  right at the CORE…. 

of all we are and say and do and organize and plan..

 

it’s so easy… so so easy…

 as a church….. to have so many activities.. groups.. plans.. programmes.. meetings…

To be so busy rushing about here and there… 

and miss JESUS… 

miss that without realizing it…we’ve pushed Him OUTSIDE the door…

 

Q. What if COVID 19 was God’s GIFT to HIS church..

 to strip down and strip away all that frantic activity…

And bring us back to the ONE thing… the CORE thing… 

the Main thing that we are supposed to be about… 

BUT …in the busyness has got pushed out….

JESUS…

 our love for JESUS… our passion for JESUS…

 our enjoyment of JESUS… our obedience to JESUS…

 

Q. What if the blessing of COVID 19 is that everything has been stopped…

So that we as church can learn again what it means to ‘wait on the LORD’       Isaiah  40 v 31

To linger in HIS PRESENCE longer

To give 1st priority 

To prioritizing HIS PRESENCE…

To hear HIS voice…

To invite HIS SPIRIT

To soak deeper in HIS WORD…

To HUNGER and thirst once again… like we used to years ago…   for the PRESENCE of JESUS as we gather together to worship… as HIS sons and daughters…

 

Q. Where is the presence of JESUS in SST?

Tozer:  “The world is perishing for the lack of the knowledge of GOD and the Church is famishing for want of HIS Presence….

 

So what the VISION… the priority… 

for every follower of JESUS in SST… in next 3 months

for every group or organization or gathering of any age or any size or any description…

 

It is to SLOW DOWN…

NOT to RUSH headlong back into doing… doing … and MORE doing…

BUT to sit down and To take a good long hard look at ourselves… our groups… and our plans and to ask ourselves honestly before the LORD…

 

Q. Have we felt the  Presence of JESUS with us lately?

Q. Have we heard HIS voice speaking to us recently?

Q. Is His Spirit given space and freedom to put His finger on anything in our lives that’s unworthy of JESUS?

Q. IS JESUS inside the door or is HE outside…

 knocking   and longing to come back in… to the centre of our lives as church…

1st place… CORE place… BEFORE anyone else and anything else… 

So that it makes a difference.. a noticeable.. concrete difference…  

To WHO we are …

TO what we are living for…

To how we live…

To the way we behave…

As a church in a Covid 19 world…

As individual followers of JESUS as we live our lives this week…

The Holy Spirit is speaking… to you.. to us… the people of GOD… to-day… right NOW..

(v22) Whoever has ears… let them hear.. what the Holy Spirit is speaking into our hearts…. 

             And let it make a difference..

 

 

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