Living With Jesus – 8/11 Sermon Transcript
Living With Jesus
by Nick Mance
Due to some technical difficulties, we were unable to record this week’s sermon. Pastor Nick has graciously provided the transcript of his sermon, so if you missed Sunday’s services, you can still read through it here.
Well good morning everyone, and thank you so much for joining us. My name is Nick Mance and I am the student ministries pastor here at Hershey Free. This morning we are continuing in our series called “All In” which is designed to help us understand what it means to be all in for Jesus and what we believe All In looks like here at Hershey Free. Last week Pastor George introduced us to this series and showed us what being all in with Jesus looks like and he also explained that being all in at Hershey Free looks like this: living with Jesus, loving like Jesus, and leading others to do the same.
As we continue to look through what it means to be all in with Jesus we will be looking at each of these areas individually. So this morning we will be looking at what it means to live with Jesus. I think often times we compartmentalize our walk with Jesus into different categories: how often I pray, how much time do I spend reading the Bible, did I go to church, did I meet with my small group. But when we talk about being all in with Jesus, it is so much more than categories. It is a lifestyle; we are called to live with Jesus all the time. What I want us to understand this morning though is this: that God calls us to be all in with Him and in order to do that we need to be living with Him all the time. This morning we will be looking at Philippians 3:7-14 and we will see what Paul challenges the Philippians with when it comes to living with Jesus. Follow along as I read this text for us.
Paul is writing to his people, people who are on the same journey he is, people who love God like he does. But in writing to them, he also understands how they, how we, function. He is writing to help us understand that everything we have is worthless without Christ. He is challenging other believers to be all in, and to not be who they were. When we follow Jesus, when we say we are going to be all in with Him, our lives should reflect that. But can we be honest with one another: I think this is really hard for us. We have allowed for convenience, busyness, and cultural norms to paralyze our relationship with God by allowing it to be relegated to a day of the week, a few prayers throughout the day, and our quiet times. But the reality is that God doesn’t ask to be a part of our lives, He demands all of it.
The truth about our relationship with Jesus is that when you are all in with Him, He changes who you are. God doesn’t call for you to adapt or change, He changes your heart and your life. God is going to take your life and make it into something great, are you willing for that, or are you content to stay in a mediocre existence with the Creator of the universe? One way that I think visually represents this understanding is this little clip from one of the greatest movies of all time: Toy Story.
If you need a refresher, Woody is Andy’s favorite toy but Buzz Lightyear has arrived and seems to be taking that place. Before this clip Woody was convinced Buzz was a fad, that he wasn’t a part of Andy’s family, but what we see here is that Buzz is marked by Andy…with permanent ink. He is forever sealed as Andy’s toy, and will be a part of that family. No matter what, Buzz is now sharing in Andy’s life and world. Wherever he goes, whatever he does, Andy is always with him; Andy is always a part of him. That is how we should be thinking about our relationship with Jesus. That when we follow after Him, we are forever sealed as His. Our lives are now His, and He is forever a part of who we are. God doesn’t want a piece of lives, He gets it all.
In fact if we look in depth at this text we see exactly what it means to be all in with Jesus. In order to live like Jesus you don’t pursue what you used to run after. Paul makes this very clear, that whatever was a priority before he was living with Jesus is no longer a priority. He isn’t saying don’t go to work, don’t go to school, don’t try to get a pay raise, but instead is saying all of that is nothing compared to who Jesus is. Paul wants us to understand that our focus and priorities shift because of Jesus. Following Jesus has a cost, and in many respects the costs are personal because we change and let go of what we used to pursue and care about.
We also see that everything means nothing without Christ. Our titles, our jobs, our heritage, our possessions, they all mean nothing compared to our relationship with Jesus. When we are all in with Him, He comes first and blows everything out of the water. Christ defines who we are, nothing else should. Your job title, your possessions, your pedigree, what school you are at, who your friends are, the number of likes you have on your latest post, the grades you receive, or the corrupt beauty standards of this world do not define you. These are all considered loss when compared to the relationship Christ offers to you, to us! When you are all in with Jesus, when you are living with Jesus, He defines you.
When we live like Jesus we also share in everything with Christ. In verses 10-11 Paul tells us that participate we in the good and the hard. We get to celebrate and enjoy the resurrection and blessings that come with living with Jesus, but we will also experience hardship because we are following Him. Life won’t always be easy when you follow Jesus, but He will always be there with you. You are not alone when you live with Him, He is with you through it all. What we see here is a stark contrast between simply acknowledging Christ as Savior and knowing Him as your Lord. Paul is saying “look, it isn’t about just proclaiming allegiance, but about intimately knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior.” When we live with Jesus, He gets our whole life. Everything is about glorifying Him. We live lives of worship. It isn’t just a Sunday thing. It is our lives; our lives should be lives of worship. We share in everything with Christ. Jesus didn’t die just to have your Sundays, He died to have all of you. Living with Jesus means He gets all of us.
We must also understand that living with Jesus is a process, but that isn’t an excuse. We must understand that we haven’t obtained perfection yet. Right? I am assuming that nobody here is perfect, I mean I know I’m not. Anyone with me? No just me…okay there goes that point (laugh). But, look at what Paul says: he hasn’t even obtained it yet. But he keeps pushing for it. As people who are designed to be all in with Jesus, we have to realize it is a process. We are growing and becoming more like Him, but we cannot use this as an excuse. This isn’t an opportunity for us to be like “oh I stole something…sorry I am in process.” That isn’t it. We know what the goal is: It is to be like Jesus. And in order to do that we need to live with Him, to grow to be like Him. You keep pursuing, don’t just stay in one place, grow in your relationship by living with Him.
You also need to shape your life around Jesus. Living with Jesus means that everything you do, say, and think is shaped around who He is. How we work, how we talk about others, how we love others, how we engage with culture, how we live our lives is shaped by who Christ is and what He has done for us. It isn’t about notoriety or popularity, it is about living a life that people see Jesus in. When people see you, they should see Jesus. When you talk people should know whose you are! You are Christ’s and your life should reveal that. God doesn’t ask for a part of your life, a couple hours on a Sunday, or for time when it is convenient. He demands you whole life. It is a lifestyle of living with Jesus in each moment of every day. It is about growing closer to Him, by spending time with Christ, being in His Word, working to be more like Him, growing with others, and seeking out Christ. Being all in means being with Jesus! People know I am married because I wear a wedding ring, and because I talk about what Elise and I do all the time. I talk about our date nights and what we are doing because I am passionate about our relationship. People should see the same when it comes to our walk with Jesus. They should know who we are, because of whose we are.
So what does this look like in our lives? I think we can see this worked out in a few practical ways. First we spend quality time with Jesus. If we are to be living with Jesus, we need to spend time with Him. And not just time, but quality time. The reason relationships work is because we put time and effort into them, and we need to be doing the same with our relationship with Jesus. It cannot just be a brief devotional or going to church, but it has to be a growing and passionate relationship with Him. We aren’t called to a checklist, but a relationship. We must give Christ everything, and not simply look at the things we do or accomplish. Those are a part of our walk, but not the culmination of the walk.
That means you must continue to grow. As you get to know Jesus, and understand Him more, it should be stretching you and growing you. You should never be content with your walk with Christ. If you aren’t being challenged in your faith, if you believe you have reached your plateau, let me encourage you to reassess and see what God has to teach you. We are never done learning, and the second we think we are, or that we have reached spiritual maturity is the day we have lost. You are constantly learning to change and grow. You can look back and say “I could have approached this better” or “I learned that this responses wasn’t the best.” As you grow you are being challenged and pushed to become more like Jesus which means you are being stretched. God doesn’t call us to a life of comfort, He simply says “Follow Me.” In fact if you look at the early church when people got comfortable and didn’t follow God’s command, God moved them anyway. Life will be hard, but God will always see you through it. And let me encourage you if perhaps you have found yourself just going through the motions to pray differently. Pray for growth, pray that God challenges, pray that God moves you from the comfortability you are in and help you to be more like Him. It won’t be easy, but you will see what it means to live with Jesus all the more.
We also need to be loving others as Christ loves us. When we live with Jesus, we need to be sharing that with others, you look to love like Christ loves. That means you spend time with others, you give up your convenience to help them. You sacrifice your time and energy to care for others. You live as Christ lived. When you are all in with Jesus, He changes you. Your priorities shift. Your viewpoint of love, sacrifice, and care is radically altered as you become more like Jesus. When you live with Jesus, your who life is changed. That is what Jesus is calling us to. When we are all in we live with Jesus and our lives will never be the same. You are both an agent of grace and a recipient of grace. You give towards others but you also receive from others. When you are all in with Jesus and living with Him, you experience life differently as your serve and are served.
The question I have for you today is this: will you live with Jesus as He wants to live with you? Will you let Him change your life and be all in with Him? I want to share with you a video of a couple here in our church as they share an experience they had with their LLL Group and how that group showed them what living with Jesus really looks like. Let’s watch this together.