Who Am I? (7/6/14)

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Sermons | 1 comment

On Sunday, July 6, Pastor Jim Bolton was introduced to our church as our new pastor.  Pastor Jim’s first sermon was entitled “Who Am I?”  It was both an introduction to the new pastor and also a probing question into our own relationship with Jesus Christ.
The scripture for the message was from Matthew 16:13-16 and from Joshua 1:1-9.

 

Yeah, but who do YOU say I Am???

In Matthew 16, Jesus asks His disciples two questions.  First, “Who do people SAY that I am?”  He then followed it up with the question, “who do YOU say that I am???”  Check it out…

Matt 16:13-16

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

NKJV

It’s easy to latch on to mentors and people who have influenced us.  It’s tempting to quote books or things others said as if they were our own discoveries or feelings.  But Jesus asks us who do YOU say that I am?  Our constant goal should be to know Jesus for ourselves.  We truly know something when we’ve dealt with the details, doubts and questions.  Personal knowledge comes when we’ve studied it and struggled with it.  We only come to really know something (or someone) because we’ve made it our own and God taught it to us.  God’s Word and the Holy Spirit will lead us into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

 Cause and Effect…

Knowing Jesus Christ leads to selfless obedience and commitment.  Commitment to the Word and to obedience lead to God’s provision and protection.  Check out Joshua 1:1-9…

Joshua 1:1-9

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:

2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them — the children of Israel.

3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.

4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.

5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

NKJV

If we first turn to Jesus and focus on the Word, God will make us successful.  Verse 7 warns us against the temptation of planning something out and then asking God to rubber stamp our own ideas after we’ve already put them into effect.  But if we know Jesus, if we start with the Word (“Law”), God promises to “make our way prosperous.”

 

Change is difficult… BUT…

Israel’s big leader was gone.  Moses was dead!  Big time change was crashing down on the Hebrew people.  And yet, God told (commanded!) the people, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

It was like Peter walking on the water.  Yep. Even Peter could climb out of the boat and walk on the water… as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus (Matthew 14:22-33).  But when he saw the winds and the waves and focused on them instead, he began to sink.

Change can be fearful, but God loves us so deeply that He sent His Son to die for us.  “Perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).  God is with us, and God Will Be with us.  The promise wasn’t only for Joshua, and it wasn’t only for those who led the “glory days” of the Pitman Camp meeting.   The Hebrew is in the future tense.  The promise is for us.   Even though we’ve got a great history, our best days can still be ahead of us;  “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

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Click the Play button below to listen to a recording of the sermon…

 

 

Pastor Jim Bolton- preaching 2014-07-06 _2386

Pastor Jim Bolton

One Comment

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  1. Chris Valianti

    Great sermon. Welcome Pastor Jim!

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