Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

07/30/2017 A.M.

 

What Will We Do With Jesus

Matthew 6.24-34

 

What will we do with Jesus?

Neutral we cannot be...

Someday our heart will be asking...

What will He do with me?

 

What Will we Do With Jesus?...

Perhaps the question should be.. What have we done with Jesus

 

Today...In Northern Italy... There is a shallow... Red mud stream... Called the Rubicon.  As far as rivers are concerned... It would be considered small and insignificant... Much the size of Sugar Creek that runs behind our building.  However...The Rubicon played a significant role in Roman History... Especially in the life of Julius Caesar.

 

Somesixty years before the birth of Christ... The Roman Empire was divided intothree provinces... three states... Each under the rule of... A tetrarch...A governor.

Thethree were... Pompey...Crassus... and Julius Caesar.

 

Julius Caesar was an impatient man with an overabundance of ambition. Crassus and Pompey kept Caesar in check in the Gaultic Area north of the Rubicon.  But Crassus was killed in 53 B.C... And Pompey became jealous of Caesar... Jealous to the extent of paranoia.  Pompey persuaded the counselof conservatives and later the entire Roman senate to pass a law demanding that Caesar be made to... give up his army... Surrender his military.

 

Julius Caesar had a choice... He could surrender his army... Or he could rebel against the order. He made the choice... And on January 10 49 B.C. he marched across the Rubicon with a single legion of 5000 men exclaiming... A-lea-In-ACTa-est...

• The die is cast...

• The deed is done...

• The decision is made...

• No turning back...

• I am totally committed to the task.

 

You see... When Caesar crossed the Rubicon... He knew he was committing TREASON... An act that would invoke a civil war.

• He knew he and his army would be completely annihilated...

• Or they would be victorious.

• No turning back.

• No giving up.

• Surrender was not an option.

Caesar knew once he crossed the Rubicon that life could never be the same again...There would be no return to the life he once lived.

 

Caesar quickly dashed south defeating his opponents at every encounter.

In 60 short days he became master of all Italy.

He ruled Rome as a monarch from 49 to 44 B.C.

 

What I want to do this morning is to spiritualize this historical event... Apply Caesar’s decision to cross the Rubicon to our decision to follow Jesus....

 

Making the decisionto be GOD’S PERSON is a lot like crossing the Rubicon... It demands absolute... Total Commitment.

Caesar was obsessed with ruling all of Rome... At any cost.

Here are a couple of questions we need to answer...

 

• Are we obsessed with Jesus and becoming like Him...At any cost?

 

• Are we obsessed with becoming His ambassador in AN evil world?

 

You see church... There comes a time in my life and yours where we are called to...Stand with God... For God... Against evil... And against false gods.

• Satan will throw obstacles in our path.

• He will try to lure us away from the Lord and our faith in Jehovah God.

• He will use the powers of this world to intimidate and discourage us.

For instance... He will be found telling us that the Political Correctness of our day is superior to Bible Correctness.

 

He will insist that the morality of our Supreme Court is superior to God’s morality.

At this point in our life... We need to be totally commitTED to the Lord...Faithfull.. Loyal... To Him at any cost.

 

Even the casual Bible Student understands that God demands total allegiance? God will have no rivals... He will have no contenders for our loyalty. He must have... First place... Top drawer status...In our life... Or no status at all.

• At Mt. Sinai it was... No other Gods before me.

• From Jesus… Love God with all your... Heart... Mind... Body... and Soul... All your being!

• In our text Jesus says... Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

Church...Have we really decided to follow Jesus?... Be like Jesus… At Any Cost... Or are we just giving some kind of lip service to this thing called Christianity?

 

Has our service to Jesus become a spectator sport... Just coming to services...Once... Twice... Three times a week... But no ministry... No Kingdom responsibility... No everyday being formed into the likeness of Jesus.

 

I am not saying that every minute of every day must be spent in preaching the word... Or that one-hundred percent of our paycheck must be placed in the collection plate. But I am saying that JESUS must be the master of our every moment and every dollar.

 

Every... Thought... Act...Word... Every attitude... And behavior... Must fall under His control… In all you do… In word or deed… Do all in the name of the Lord.

 

All we are... All we do...Either proclaims our allegiance to God or Satan.  The Bible teaches that Jesus must be... Lord of all... Or not Lord atall.

 

I believe it to be to our shame that... In the Lord’s church today... We don’t talk much anymore about… absolute loyalty...Total commitment.

 

What will we do with Jesus?

 

Such absolute commitment means we cannot serve two masters.

We see that in verse twenty-four... No-one can serve two masters... Either he will hate the one and love the other... Or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other... Only one!

 

We can’t stock two shelves at once... Why do we try to argue with God... Jesus said... We just CAN’T DO IT!... You are either for Me or against Me.

 

Caesar had to make a determinate choice... You and I must make such a life changing choice.

 

Like Caesar... Our decision to follow Jesus places us into a war with this world... Listen to these scriptures...

 

• Peter says... I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires... which war against your soul.

 

• Paul told the church in Ephesus... we fight principalities and powers in high places... We fight Spiritual wickedness

 

• In rhetoric James asks... What causes fights and quarrels among you?... Don't you know that they come from your own.... evil desires that battle within?

 

• Paul said... Because I am committed to Christ... I do things that I would not naturally do... And the things that I naturally would do I discipline myself and do them not.

 

• Listen to John... Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

 

Church...We cannot win the war against spiritual wickedness until we win the war within self.... With a decision to truly follow Jesus… Be like Jesus.

 

Have you made such a decision?… Have I?

 

Many of us are like Pilate... Remaining neutral… Washing our hands of Jesus... Neutral we cannot be!

• Jesus said… You are either for Me or against Me...

• We are either drawing people to Him or running them off.

• We are either walking with Him or we’re walking in the ways of the world.

• We’re either yielding to His will or making a mess of life.

 

Pilate may have washed his hands... But that’s all he washed.

 

The blood of Christ still stains his soul... And will judge him in the last day… And will judge all who try to remain neutralto the one who died for us.

Jesus is standing in Pilate’s hall,

Friendless, forsaken, betrayed by them all;

Hearken! what meaneth the sudden call?

What will you do with Jesus?

 

Thirdly... We must let go of the trivial... Believe in the unseen.

Caesar didn’t concern himself with the trivial…  he let it go in pursuit of the unseen goal before him.

 

Look at verse twenty-five... Do not worry about your life, what you will eat ordrink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

 

Jesus is saying... Life is more than the things we can Sense... see… hear... feel…Smell...taste… and wear… Real life exists inthe world of the unseen.

 

Listen to these verses...

 

FirstCorinthians 2.9... No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.

 

Second Corinthians4.18... So... Fix your eyes... Not on what is seen... But on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary... But what is unseen is eternal.

 

Church...If we can see it... It’s mortal... It’s temporary... So don’t be overly concerned with it!.. I didn’t say don’t be concerned… Don’t be overly concerned.

 

Deciding to follow Jesus is our being concerned about… things unseen... Attitudes of the heart... Things like... Love... Faith... Hope... Repentance... forgiveness... Etc.

 

Here’s something interesting... Pompey was Caesar’s son-in-law.  Caesar didn’t let worldly relationships affect his decision to cross the river.

 

We must not let... any...ANy... Earthly relationship stop us... Hinder us... From becoming God’s child and marching on in His Kingdom...

• Not family...

• Not friends...

• Not employers...

• Not any form of peer pressure.

Total absolute commitment means... JESUS AND ME ALONE... If that’s what it takes... A-lea-In-ACTa-est... No turning back... No turning back!

 

We must believe that God is able.

These verses tell us that indeed... God is able to help us… Care for us.

 

Consider God’s ability in two areas…

 

First… Consider the universe and its vastness… Yet… He keeps the world turning… Holds the world in His hand...

• He keeps the planets in their orbits…

• Stars in their place…

• He maintains worlds that are thousands of light years across.

 

Secondly… God watches over the poor people of the bird world… He sustains the sparrow… Not one falls to the ground without His knowledge.

He causes the grass to grow… Flowers to bloom… Lilies to repeat their beauty. 

 

Jesus reasoned… If God… Can... Will... And Does... care for... Provide... and Sustain... the SPARROW of the air and grass in the field... If he empowers and enables the universe... How much more will He... care for...Provide... Sustain... And enable... us?

 

Where is our faith?... I hope it is in God and his son jesus!!

 

No...I don’t know what Caesar’s faith was in... But I can tell you this... His faith had to be in something bigger than himself and 5,000 men. Caesar had to look beyond himself.... And so must we... And so must we.

 

We’re not Caesar... WE’RE GOD’S family... HIS CHILDREN... People of faith.

 

John 1.12 &13 tell us that faith in Jesus gives us... The ability... The power... authority... The right... To become children of God... Power to be born of God.

 

Galatians 3.26 says... We are children of God by faith.

 

Hebrews 11.6 tells us that... our faith... Has the power to make us pleasing to God.

 

Church... Do we believe?... Where is our faith?....

• Do we believe that God is working in our lives?... That He is working in ALL THINGS for the our good... For our benefit?

 

• Do we believe Jesus... With man some things are impossible… But With God all things are possible?

 

• Do we believe the faith REASONING...If God be for us... Who can be against us?

 

Deciding to follow Jesus is believing that God is able and that He will...

• Care for us...

• Protect us...

• Sustain us...

• Empower and Enable us...

• Do what is best for us.

 

I had a woman say to me recently... You keep preaching that… But my husband died.

Wow!...We gotta know that… God is bigger than death... Jesus conquered death... So we can live forever with Him... And one another... eternally in heaven... Where is our faith?

 

Church...

   • If God can... Create... Sustain... The vast universe...

   • If He has a care and concern for the birds of the air... The grass in the field...

We can rest assured that He will care for us… In this life… And in the life to come.

 

Believe in the awesome power of Faith!

 

Finally... We must stop worrying about Yesterday and tomorrow.

Caesar knew… That when he crossed the river …

• He was giving up any claim on life as it was yesterday...

• He knew that all his tomorrows would be uncertain.

 

For Caesar… Crossing the river meant victory or death... Alea-In-acta-est….

• The die is cast...

• The decision is made...

• The old way of life is over.

• Raised to walk in a new life.

 

Church…For us… Today is the day of salvation… Now is the accepted time.

 

ChoosingJesus… Deciding to follow Jesus… Changes everything… Everything!

• We must let go of yesterday…Let go of the old life.

• We must place our faith and trust in God for our tomorrows... All of them!

 

As children of God… Our yesterdays mean nothing… What is important is what are we doing for Jesus and His kingdom today?

 

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on living insin... So that grace may increase?... By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

 

Deciding to follow Jesus means... Forgetting the past... Both the mistakes and the good works done.

 

In Christ… We are taught to not worry about tomorrow… But live for the Lord one day at a time.

 

Like Caesar… We may win the battle in 60 days... Or it may take us years.

 

But this one thing we know... In Christ… The victory is ours… Forgetting the past I press on to the prize before me... To my heavenly calling.

 

Jesus is standing in Pilate’s hall,

Friendless...Forsaken... Betrayed by all;

Hearken!... What meaneth the sudden call?

What will you do withJesus?

 

Cross the Rubicon… Become a child of God this morning... Proclaim your allegiance to Jesus… By... Faith... Repentance... And Baptism.

 

As His child... Our challenge is to... total commitment… Allowing Jesus to rule and reign over every arena of OUR life.

 

Decide to follow Him as we stand and sing this song.