Cliff Terrace Church
Is Jesus Your Rabbi or Lord?
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  • For the past several months this year, God has been dealing with me on the discipleship that is in place for this church. Sure we have different opportunities for you to grow in your relationship with the Lord but I still believe that there are things missing that we need to put in place.
    About three weeks ago, God began putting a plan in place for our church. He began showing me a series of classes for each member to go through. These classes will help each of you develop into becoming all that God wants you to become.
    If you have ever paid attention to our vision, you will notice three basic words that make up our vision. Those words are Seek, Connect and Reach. Through these classes we want each of you to move from being seekers to becoming reachers. We want each of you to move from just being a seeker that is always looking for something greater to becoming reachers, people that are interested in winning their friends, neighbors and family members for Jesus Christ.
    Each believer should be about winning souls and seeing individuals grow in their own relationship with the Lord. If your desire is not to see people grow in a relationship with the Lord then why are you in this life. Are you just in this lifestyle for yourself or are you in this so that you can see other people falling in love with Jesus the one that died for your sins. The best way that we can do this is by growing in our relationship and then helping others grow in their relationship with Jesus as well.
    We need to move from being just Seekers to becoming Reachers. There is a process. You begin by Seeking God. You start wondering who God is. Maybe you have been stuck in this spot for years. Maybe you have never been anything more than a seeker. If so, then you need to begin to make plans to develop your walk with the Lord. Don’t stay at just being a Seeker. We need to move to becoming a Reacher.
    Hebrews 5:13–14 NIV
    13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
    We all need to move from being milk drinkers to becoming steak eaters. When you are immature in your faith you lack a spiritual sensitivity and discernment about what is good and what is evil. You don’t always understand what honors God and what dishonors God. But as you mature in your walk with God and you build that relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit you train your spiritual senses to carefully distinguish between good and evil. When we have the Holy Spirit working through us, we begin to see things from God’s point of view, we are able to receive the solid food of God’s Word and grow toward the full maturity in our relationship with Christ.
    So, for the last several weeks, I have been thinking about discipleship for this church. What does that look like? Where do we want each of you and the new people that will begin coming to this church need to grow? How can we move each person along this journey? Before I share my plan with you, I want to remind you of what a disciple looks like.
    Jesus point out discipleship in many different places in scripture. Some were more direct. Others make you want to dig deeper to understand what Jesus was saying. Discipleship was very important to Jesus. He took a group of 12 and moved them from being Seekers to becoming Reachers. Sure one of them didn’t pan out but the rest were world changers.
    If you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Matthew. I want to read a few verses from chapter 8 beginning at verse 18.
    Matthew 8:18–22 NIV
    18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
    Some people look at this and think that Jesus is cruel. Why would Jesus tell someone to let someone else bury their loved one. The truth here is This disciple probably wanted to wait until his elderly father died, which could have been years away. Jesus knew that His time on earth was short and His ministry demanded full attention and commitment. This encounter is an example of the extreme demands and sacrifices required of those who follow Christ.
    How many of us are willing to make the sacrifice we need in order to follow Christ? Are we willing to give up our comfortable lifestyle and lay our whole life down for the calling that Christ has given us. Are we looking for just another good teacher or are we looking for a Lord? Someone to have complete control of our life.
    I love the story of Matthew following Jesus. Matthew writes about it in chapter 9. Look at verse 9 with me.
    Matthew 9:9 NIV
    9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
    Notice there was no hesitation. He got up and followed Jesus and right after his decision he threw a big party and there Jesus was with Matthew and his tax collector and “sinner” friends. Jesus’ disciples were their with Him learning how to become Reachers. Jesus gave them an important lesson that day. He said...
    Matthew 9:12–13 NIV
    12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
    The reason we should hang out with unbelievers is not for pleasure, entertainment or close friendship, but for the sake of doing good, being an example and showing the way of salvation.
    At the end of chapter 9 of Matthew we see what Jesus’ desire is. Look at verse 35.
    Matthew 9:35–38 NIV
    35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
    It is here that Jesus is challenging his disciples to always remember that those who are spiritually lost, those who don’t know and don’t follow God have a priceless, eternal soul and will spend eternity in heaven or in hell. We must reach them with the love and message of Christ while there is still time.
    Many times we don’t think about eternity until it is too late. Once someone dies then it is too late. There is no hope for those who perish from this life. They have to make a decision to follow Christ before they die. Hell is a real place and that is why it is so important that we move from begin just Seekers to becoming Reachers.
    Verse 38 makes everything clear to us. Jesus said...
    Matthew 9:38 NIV
    38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
    We need more Reachers. We need people that are tired of sitting back and watching as people die and slip off into eternity. We need to tell others about Jesus. Time is running out. Time is short. We have to get off the milk and start eating the meat of God’s Word. And we have to tell our friends, neighbors and family members that time is short. We need to tell them before they slip off into eternity.
    In chapter 10, Jesus sends out his disciples and He gives them instructions look at verse 7 and 8.
    Matthew 10:7–8 NIV
    7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
    Not only did He want them to preach the kingdom of God but He wanted them to be accompanied by evidence of God’s might and power against the forces of sin, sickness and Satan.
    It is Christ’s desire that the kingdom of heaven and it power be brought “near” to people so that they can receive the salvation, help and healing they need from God.
    Over these 3 chapters of Matthew and the verses that I have read to you, you can see that Jesus found those that were Seekers and He moved them to Reachers. This is the process. It is time for us as a church to get a plan that each of us will work at to become Reachers. We can not stay at Seekers. We can not stay at just making Connections with those that are here in our own church. We, as a church, must move from beyond these walls and go out and Reach the community that God has called us to.
    It is no accident that you are in this community. It is no accident that you are in this church. God has called you here, but He doesn’t just want you to sit and stay a Seeker. He wants you to get Connected with those that are here and move to Becoming a Reacher.
    So, here’s the plan.
    As I have pointed out today, many people, before they may even attend a church, they begin seeking, they are searching for something different in their life. They are looking for more and want more from this life. So, many times, when people see a need for God in their life, what do they do? They find a church. So, new people, many times, come to church Seeking God.
    Once they come to church they begin finding ways to connect with people. They attend service regularly. They come early to church. They attend men’s events or women’s events. They get their kids involved in the activities that are meant for them. they find areas they can serve in.
    Then at some point in their life they decide they want to invite their friends, family members, and neighbors. They become Reachers. They discover the gifts that God has placed inside them. they begin using those gifts to help the church.
    The church has to do their part and provide opportunities for people to move from being Seekers to becoming Reachers.
    My plan this fall is to launch a series of classes that will help each person do just that. We want to move each of you through a series of classes that will help you become Reachers.
    Some of you may say, “I’m already a Reacher.” My thought is, then we need you to go through these classes with those that are working to become Reachers for the first time.
    This is the beginning stages of these classes. These classes have never been done before so we are learning and tweaking as we go. There are four classes that you can go through. Each class will help you to grow in your walk with God.
    The first class is the Connect Class. Many of you will know most of the information in this class. We still want everyone to go through this. This class will last about 3 or 4 weeks. It will introduce you to the ends and outs of CTC. You will know what our Vision, Core Beliefs, and the Doctrines that make up the Assembly of God.
    The second class is the Grow Class. This class will start you on a journey of growing in your relationship with the Lord. You will learn about Salvation. What it means to be saved? You will learn about Water Baptism. Why we submerge instead of sprinkle. Why we don’t baptize infants. we will talk to you about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. What each gift means and their purpose. This class will help you to become all that God wants you to become.
    The third class is the Serve Class. We want to prepare you to serve in any area of ministry. We will help you discover your gifts. WE will show you areas where you can use your gifts. and How to get started using your gifts. This class will better equip you in serving.
    The fourth and final class is the Go class. This class will help you become the leader that you were meant to be. It will take you into a deeper relationship with God. It will take you to new levels in your Christian walk.
    Our goal is to begin these classes in the fall. After we first launch these classes we want to move each person through each class. Some of you may only go through the first 2 classes. Our goal is to move all of you through each class because it will help you in your spiritual walk.
    After you go through a class we want your feedback on ways that we can improve these classes. Any changes we need to make.
    I want to close this morning by taking you back to the question that I asked you in the beginning. Is Jesus your Rabbi or is He your Lord? Are you just interested in the teachings of Jesus or do you want a more deeper relationship with Him as the Lord of your life?
    I want to read one more passage to you to close this message today. Go to Matthew chapter 26. Jesus had just finished praying in the garden. His disciples had fallen asleep on Him. Look at verse 47.
    Matthew 26:47–50 NIV
    47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.
    Did you notice how Judas greeted Jesus? Look at verse 49 again.
    Matthew 26:49 NIV
    49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
    At this moment, Judas has a different relationship with Jesus than any of the other disciples. Judas calls Jesus Rabbi. A Rabbi was just a teacher. All the other disciples had acknowledged Him as Lord. Even Peter, the man that would soon deny Jesus 3 times, made the declaration in Matthew 16:16
    Matthew 16:16 NIV
    16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
    Each of the disciples has a relationship different from Judas. Judas just saw Him as a teacher, but all the others acknowledged Him as Lord. My question to you today is how do you acknowledge Him. Is He your Rabbi or is He your Lord?
      • Hebrews 5:13–14NIV2011

      • Matthew 8:18–22NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:9NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:12–13NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:35–38NIV2011

      • Matthew 9:38NIV2011

      • Matthew 10:7–8NIV2011

      • Matthew 26:47–50NIV2011

      • Matthew 26:49NIV2011

      • Matthew 16:16NIV2011

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