Saturday, June 29, 2013

Celebrate

Brides, let’s celebrate today. It is the day the Lord has made, amen?

Our text today comes from three parallel passages. Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22, Luke 5:33-37

When this many of the gospel writers include an account of something, you know it is huge. For all of the three years of every-days with Jesus, this conversation stood out enough to be remembered and written down.

How much do you remember? Are you making practice of purposefully remembering Him? His word? I know for most of us, our 24 hours seem so full already – and they are; we each fill up our 24 hours with something. But do those somethings have eternal value? I speak to myself too.

Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” NLT

Joshua 1:8 “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” NLT emphasis mine

Colossians 3:16a “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives…” NLT emphasis mine

In our passages, Jesus had just called Matthew to be a disciple. Matthew – a tax collector. Tax collectors were known for padding their pockets. They were deceitful and hated. And Jesus called him straight from this life to start a new life with Him.
Don’t you just love that? I love that Jesus didn’t scour the world looking for people who were “better” or well liked, or less nasty than the rest. He picked the scum so that He could heal, cleanse and renew. That is what Jesus does best.

For order’s sake, we will look at one of the three passages – and even though they are nearly identical, I like Luke’s account.
So we pick up in Luke 5:33

I love this passage, because it is when Jesus introduces Himself as our Groom.
Read 33-34
Do you see it?
Be all here. I am here. Celebrate that.
Fasting often included an attitude of mourning – that word is even used interchangeably, if you’ll glance over at the Matthew account (9:15)

Now, this may be one of those times when the words were spoken to those people in that specific setting (He was physically with them, so that fits and makes good sense), but I believe it was included (3 times!) because we can apply it to our own lives.

We have Christ with us, because we have Christ in us. (Romans 8:9-10)

Is that not worthy of celebration? If that’s not, I don’t know what is.

In those days, the wedding celebration lasted 2 weeks. This was probably the only time in their lives when they would go that long without working. Life was hard for them, and this was a time of celebration. ‘Drop everything and celebrate now’ was the general attitude around a wedding. Christ is calling His disciples here to celebrate His presence. source

Sisters, life is hard. It is.
But.
This is a great time to insert ‘but’.
But we have Christ. Amen?

Philippians 4:13 “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” NLT

We are new in Christ. Life is new with Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Here’s where we tie it all together. Celebrate your new life in Christ. He hasn’t come to patch up and smoothe over your old life. Throw it away. Just accept the new life.
Read the rest of our passage. (If you’re in Luke with me, that’d be Luke 5:36-39)
God doesn’t fit like a band-aid over our old lives. He wants to offer complete renewal.

New habits. New delights. New favorites. New friends? New drinks. New movies. New music. New clothing. New words. New attitude. New forgiveness.
New.
All things are become new.

Do not mourn the loss of those old things; what are they, really anyway?

So I challenge you with me:
1) Pray about remnants you’re still wearing from your old life before you knew Him. Pray for Him to reveal them, and remove them.
2) Start a new habit – memorize. Remember the opening of our session today? Memorize His Word, for with God’s word in your heart, your heart, mind, and spirit are made new. New.

Ephesians 4:22-24 “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” NLT


Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” NLT

And let’s start with those verses, sound good?


3) Celebrate. You do have Christ in you if you are a Christian. Spend some time celebrating that, and watch your outlook renew.

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