2016 Holy Week 4: A Story of Extreme Love

 Eve of Tuesday


hey how's everybody doing tonight tough
day I don't know about you but from the
appearance of the readings today you
would sort of get an impression that God
is pretty angry you would get an
impression that the situation for us
looks kind of bleak it looks as if from
the beginning of the day that God is
telling us I've invested so much into
you from the first reading of today of
this morning you read Genesis chapter 1
and we know Genesis chapter 1 as the
passage of creation and I'm going to
focus tonight we're going to go in a
little bit of a journey we're going to
go through all the readings of the day
and you're going to say wow these are
going to be a lot of readings but I'm
just going to highlight just a few
points of every reading and I'm hoping
that the Word of God will speak versus
me speaking I'd rather God speak and
give a message to every single one of us
rather than me stand here and try to
explain what God is trying to say to
each and every one of us individually so
from the first reading of tonight the
prophecy it says let us make man in our
image and likeness according to our
likeness the second prophecy is from
Isaiah and it says I waited for it to
bring forth grapes but it produced thorn
plants then we get to the third prophecy
the Lord saw and numbered her and poured
out the power of comprehension and he
exalted the glory of those who hold
faster and then the Gospel reading of
the first hour of this morning it says
he was hungry and seeing from afar a fig
tree having leaves he found nothing but
leaves so from the first hour what do
you think the theme is for the day God
created us
in his image in his likeness he invested
he poured out of himself into every
single one of us imagine this God
creates the mountains he creates trees
he creates monkeys he creates cattle he
creates all these different things but
then he comes across you and I and he
says that's the best that's the best of
my creation and i am going to breathe
myself into them i am going to put
myself into them they're in my image and
in my likeness an investment is put
there and all of a sudden the next
passage it says that my beloved i
planted a vineyard and I that vineyard
to bring forth fruit and expected that
vineyard to have really good fruit on it
I expected to be able to come approach
it and be able to eat good fresh apples
or good fresh oranges and then I went
and I approached it and I found nothing
I don't know about you but that's very
convicting and then Christ approaches
the fig tree tonight and he goes and he
sees it from afar off and he sees that
it has leaves a fig tree by the way if
it has leaves it's supposed to have
fruit so from a distance you look at it
you look at and you say wow that fig
tree I promise when I go see I'm going
to be able to bring off some nice figs
and I'm going to enjoy those figs and
they're going to nourish me and they're
going to make me happy i'm going to be
full but imagine you go and you're
hungry one day and you're expecting to
go to you know during the fall when
there's the apple picking so imagine one
day you go to a farm in Winchester
Virginia and you drive a far distance
and you're going and you see from a
apples on the tree and then you go and
you approach them and every single one
of them is rotten what would you do
you'd be angry you'd say what is this
farm what kind of food are they're
producing we should shut down this forum
it's a foolish forum and that's what
Christ did when he saw the fig tree he
saw it expecting that it was to have
fruit he sought expecting that it was to
have figs but I had nothing you go to
the third hour it says woe to those who
call evil good and good evil who put
darkness for light and light for
darkness then in Jeremiah he says
because they forsook my law which I said
before their face and they did not hear
my voice instead they walked after what
pleased their heart what's the theme why
didn't the tree produce fruit why was
the tree invested in so much but it
produced nothing again he was hungry he
went to the tree and he found nothing
but leaves then you go to Exodus we know
the Exodus story Godfrey's the
Israelites out of Egypt he brings them
he does miraculous signs and wonders he
goes they see a sea and they say that's
it we're dead but then all of a sudden
he splits to see and then they're hungry
he makes it rain bread he makes it rain
quail he does thing after thing after
thing miracle after miracle after
miracle and then Moses disappears for a
little while he goes up to pray and he
comes down and God says to him he says
to them and write what we read right
here he says they turned aside quickly
from the way I commanded them they made
themselves a calf and are worshiping and
sacrificing and are saying these are
your gods I always read this passage and
I'm so confused obviously God has been
working with these people obviously
they've seen visible signs and wonders
what makes them think that they're going
to pull earrings out of there
necklaces off their necks construct a
calf and and believe that this is going
to answer their prayers you would say
that's illogical right you would say
these people must have mental illness
like in the field of medicine somebody
who creates something and then begins to
start worshiping it they'll say that
you'll say this purse is is something's
wrong with them did they expect the calf
to respond to them that they expect the
calf to do miracles did they expect the
calf to be able to rain quail I hope not
but why did they create this calf did
they think it was going to answer its
prayers or did they want to be the only
voice that they hear why do we create
idols why do we invest so much into our
finances into our security into so many
different things that that consume our
minds and take away from the fruits that
we're supposed to produce maybe it's
because we're scared to hear God's voice
maybe it's because when God calls and
when God speaks his voice sometimes
hurts a bit his voice sometimes sounds
like something I don't want to hear I
don't want to hear that God you want me
to give up a certain relationship I
don't want to hear that you want me to
maybe not do this thing I don't want to
hear so what do i do I start to create
my own Idol and I start to worship it
and I what do i do I start to justify
action after action after action and I
say ah God spoke to me and told me this
no God didn't speak I spoke and I listen
to myself I promise I'm not going to
leave on a bad note I promise so bear
with me for a little bit
sixth our prophecy from the wisdom of
Solomon says love righteousness you who
judge on the earth think about the Lord
and goodness and seek him with sincerity
of heart because he is found by those
who do not tempt him and he is manifest
to those who do not disbelieve in him
God is saying I'm near i'm right here if
you want to find me i'm right here if
you really are trying to approach me
this week i'm prepared to make my
presence known I love this gospel sixth
our gospel Christ we see strong Christ
see him coming into the temple he gets a
whip can you imagine a whip and he
starts smacking the tables and he's
angry and he says to them takeley take
these things away do not make my
father's house a house of merchandise
what does the temple signify the temple
signifies the closest place to people
the temple is the place where all focus
all attention is the temple is the heart
oh do you not know that you are a temple
of the Holy Spirit so Christ comes in
and he says if you want me to be king if
you want me to be ho samne I got to
clean this temple you got to let me in
if you want me to be the one who allows
you to produce food fruit you got to let
me cleanse it you have to let me cleanse
then the fall ninth hour of Monday we
see an act of love I know this doesn't
seem like an act of love you see God
expelling Adam and Eve from the Garden
and saying now lest he put by the way
let's rewind for a second notice this I
love this part when they sinned what did
they do they sewed fig leaves together
and made themselves covering so what did
they do from the tree that didn't
produce fruit for the second Adam they
pulled the same leaves off that tree the
first Adam pulled those leaves off that
tree and covered himself after he sinned
but the second Adam who's Christ went
and said this tree is nothing it means
nothing so now lest he put his hand out
and take also of the tree of life and
eat and live forever therefore the Lord
God sent him out of the garden of
pleasure to cultivate the ground from
which he was taken so he cast Adam out
and made him dwell opposite the garden
of pleasure he then stationed the
cherubim and the fiery sword which
turned every way to guard the way to the
Tree of Life so what does he do here you
would look at this passage and you would
say I'll been a sob God is harsh why did
he kick him out yeah they made a mistake
bus summer home yet i'll give him a
second chance call us
he did he gave him a second chance The
Tree of Life there was two trees in the
garden the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil and the tree of life they ate
from the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil and then death was upon them
the plague of death was upon them so now
after eating that tree they should live
forever in death unless unless there is
a savior but God out of his mercy says
we don't want man to live in this garden
and eat be in sin and eat from the tree
of life because if they eat from the
tree of life they will live forever in
sin and they will never have because who
is the Tree of Life tree of life is
Christ and you can't receive Christ if
one is in death because in Christ
there's life so God out of his love
expels them out of the garden and says
I'm going to come down take flesh live
amongst them dwell with them take on the
plague of death upon myself and give
them life see the problem is we look at
today and we look at God as a judge we
come today we into church and we say God
I'm guilty God you are a judge and
that's it I'm a sinner I'm always going
to be a sinner and going to be to God
for every men and when we approach God
with that psychology it messes us up
because you approach God as a guilty one
you will always be guilty but you
approach God as a sick one who is in
need of a physician you will find
healing and that's the way the Church
teaches that the Church teaches us to
approach God as a physician the church
teaches us to approach God as a healer
the church teaches us and even when we
refer to Christ we refer to him as the
lover of man
tonight we need to approach God as a
healer that as a healer I have a patient
right now who he comes in to me every
single time Music Man you caused more
pain to me it's like I don't I don't
like you I tell him in order to get
better sometimes it's got to hurt you
know you have a knee injury and I got to
bend that knee until you're able to get
the motion necessary to be able to
function he says no no this is this
can't be bet good for me this can't be
good for me it can't be good that you
inflict more pain on me in order for me
to get better I say I promise and 6-8
weeks later patient comes back he says
man you're my hero you're my hero you
fixed my knee that's God he's the
physician sometimes when we approached
him if we approach him as sick people
he's got medication he's got all the
remedies that give us the ability to
find healing my favorite prophecy of
tune of this morning so right after the
fall right after the next prophecy is
this comfort yes comfort my people says
God o'prey speak to the heart of
Jerusalem come for her for her
humiliation has ended her sin is
pardoned for Rishi received from the
Lord Lord hand double for her sins the
voice of one crying in the wilderness
prepare the way of the Lord make
straight the paths of the lord comfort
my people my people be comforted because
although we were cast out although it
hurt although it was painful there is a
voice crying in the wilderness who's
preparing the way straight for the Lord
and Hossana has entered into
to church this Sunday to save us and
he's in the presence of us right now to
heal us be comforted don't come in
tonight upset don't come in tonight
worried don't come in tonight saying
I've been a sob God is harsh come in
tonight and say god is a healer God is a
comforter God is desiring me
here my son the instruction of your
father and do not reject the laws of
your mother for you will receive receive
a crown of grace on your head and a gold
chain around your neck so they start to
question him and they Satan what
authority do you have that you're
cleaning the temple what authority do
you have why do you come in here and why
do you do these miracles and why do you
do these sinus out and wonders what's
your authority I feel like that's me
sometimes what authority do you have God
to come into my life to disrupt it I
don't want you to disrupt my life my
life is good I have this I have that I
have this don't disrupt me how many of
us say that maybe subconsciously maybe
I'm the only one here that says it
outwardly if Christ wants to come in
cleanse he's gonna cleanse sorry I'm
going to keep going with the readings so
I think the readings speak louder than I
do although sometimes my voice is loud
Isaiah why when I came was there no man
why when I called was there no one to
obey or none to obey is my hand unable
to deliver have I no strength to the
liver you see the readings I'm not
pulling these verses out I promise you
these are the readings from today why
when I came was there no man why when I
was called was there none to obey is God
unable to deliver is God unable to heal
or is it maybe I don't want healing or
is it maybe I come to church holy week
after holy week after Holy Week
expecting a different result but not
willing to make the investment of change
scott changed
I love this let's finish off with this
promise not to much longer for the fear
of the Lord is the witness wisdom and
instruction and his good pleasure is
faith and gentleness do not disobey the
fear of the Lord and do not come to him
with a divided heart and then we finish
off the morning with most assuredly I
say to you if anyone keeps my word he
shall never see death I was going to go
into the readings of Tuesday but I was
worried that you guys would get bored
but I just want to highlight two
readings from this evening take it to
heart I've loved you says the Lord the
third hour prophecy of tues of this
evening take it to heart I've loved you
says the Lord I've loved you so much
that I've invested everything into you
I've loved you so much that I've created
you as a tree intending you to bring
forth fruit intended you to nourish
intending you to be shade for Humanity
intending you to be a means by which
people don't hunger that's the purpose
of the church the purpose of the church
the purpose of you and I is intended to
be that we are all trees trees bringing
harvest and trees bringing food and
trees bringing nourishment to humanity
take it to heart I've loved you
return to me and i will return to you
says the Lord and do not become like
your fathers who the former prophets
accused saying thus says the Lord
Almighty first hour of tonight what's
the theme what's the theme I love you
I've invested in you I've given you I've
planted you not only have i not only am
I investing in you and not only am I
putting everything within me in you but
you know what I know you can't do it
alone I know no matter how hard you try
know how matter how many times you say
this year I'm gonna be a different
person you'll fall in you'll fall time
and time and time again and I'll fall
time and time and time again but every
time we fall that's why we have a savior
because we can scream not just during
Holy Week Hosanna not during just Holy
Week thine is the power and the glory
all year every moment of every day we
have a savior who is available to us to
heal us and to give us the means and the
ability to grow I pray that this week
the theme isn't God as a judge I pray
that this year the theme isn't I'm just
waiting for good friday for a holy week
to be over because I'm tired of hearing
all these sad messages I pray that the
theme this year for us is god i want to
be a tree that brings forth good fruit
god i want to be a means of nourishment
for the world around me we live in a
dark world without the church where is
the healing without the church without
you and I where is the means by which
the world will know Christ and if we're
a bunch of trees with no fruit then how
are people going to eat so God is saying
tonight to us I love you
but tonight's the night don't come in
tomorrow looking at these readings and
seeing them with the lens of guilt look
at these readings tonight and look at
these readings tomorrow and look at the
readings of the remainder of the week
and say God I need a physician I need a
physician I need an emergency
appointment and I'm I need 911 right now
because if I don't call 911 now I will
continue as I am let's take that to
heart glory be to God forever and