Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Corey Turner, at Bethany International Service, on Sun, 3 Dec 2017.
Don’t Get the Lord and the Thief Mixed Up
So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. (John 10:7-10)
Story of a woman who had a python which was not eating well recently. The thief is like the snake waiting to swallow the owner as the owner allowed the snake to stretch out. Don’t get the thief and the Lord mixed up. We need to avoid mixing up the thief and the Lord. The thief is the enemy of our soul. Adam and Eve unfortunately believed the thief, and they doubted the Lord. Adam and Eve got the Lord and the thief mixed up.
1. Don’t get Condemnation and Conviction Mixed Up
We need to listen to God’s voice (conviction) rather than the devil’s (condemnation). If we do not deal with the sin in our life, the power of sin will grow deeper. God wants us to confess our sins, so that our hearts will not condemn us. “Beloved if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.” (1 John 3:21) Condemnation gives us a guilty feeling, and disconnects us from God. Conviction brings believers to repent and to return to the Lord. “Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Every time we received condemnation, remember Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” God looks at us as a saint being cleansed of our sins. We need to confess our sins and allow God to work in our lives. God is not here to condemn.
Choose conviction over condemnation.
2. Don’t get the Isolation and Community mixed up
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”. Isolation allows the devil to attack us easily. Having many friends in Facebook doesn’t mean we have many friends. Technology is creating an isolation of people from the world. We still can be disconnected from a community even though we attend church.
Genesis 2:18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Don’t get isolated from our community of believers. No one does community like the local church. The church offers a place where we can connect with fellow believers. The church is a powerful community that brings love to the world.
The church is like Noah’s ark. Noah’s family had to bear with the animals and their mess rather than dying in the flood out there. We need to bear with one another and resolve our offences towards others in the house of the Lord.
Choose community over isolation.
3. Don’t get the Busyness and Intimacy with God mixed up
Don’t get too busy to seek God. Be discipline with our devotional time. We can only be fruitful by seeking first the Kingdom of God. Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” God is our door keeper. Many of us think that the busier we are, the more fruitful we can be. It is not right. We need to learn to seek God to know what He wants us to do. In our family, our study, our work and our business, seek Him before making decisions. Our promotion is determined by how obedient we are to God’s Word. Pastor Corey obeyed God to serve Him and he did not seek churches to invite. It is not how busy we are but how obedient we are.
Choose intimacy with God over busyness.
4. Don’t get Worry and Worship mixed up
Australia has one of the highest wealth per capital in the world. Despite that, 50% has experienced mental issues related to anxiety. The disciples were anxious when there was a storm coming, even though Jesus was sleeping with them in their boat. We need to remember who is in our boat. Peace is not a situation. Peace is a person. If the Prince of Peace is in our boat, in our heart, in our life, we have peace. Turn our worry into worship.
Worry is worshipping our fear as Lord. Worship is worshipping Jesus as Lord. When we turn our worry to worship, our attitude and mindset will change.
Choose worship over worry
Revelations 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
God is knocking at the door of our heart and we need to open it. Jesus is seeking to redeem us from the work of the devil. The devil stole the authority of mankind at the Garden of Eden. If we have been listening to the voice of the devil, repent, come to the Lord and listen to the voice of God. Jesus is the restorer of what the thief steals from us. Confess our sins, live in community, seek God and worship Him.