What Moves You?
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

What Moves You?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Jesus was moved with compassion for the people in the city but he did not move from his mission/purpose. What moves you?

Two hundred civilians, and actually there's probably more, because I just checked the news last night, but two hundred civilians have been killed by the military government in Myan Mar recently. You know where Mayan Mar is. It's like south of China, on the other side of the world, and somebody shared this from Mayan Mar with a friend who were connected with, I'm connected with on Facebook, and he said this. He says we cannot go out because they have an order to shoot. Everything is closed and food prices are getting higher and people are running out of food. We hear gunshots everywhere. My wife and sister will deliver their babies in a month and we don't know how things will be. We can't even get an appointment with the doctor. We don't know what will happen. Please pray. It's a risk just to buy food. Rumors of war are everywhere. And this is a message from somebody living in our world and a country called Myanmar on the other side of our globe, just from a couple weeks ago. And what kind of feelings, what kind of emotions, well up inside of you when you hear a story like that, because we think like having a baby in covid times is hard, and it certainly is. But here is is a family, families that I mean, they can't even get a doctor's visit for their newborn and they're pregnant wife or mom, you know, and and they can't even really go outside because, well, the government, or the government the military takeover, has the command to shoot and to kill. How do you get food? Like, sure, okay, you have a baby with no medical care in your own home. And then what? Then? You got to feed yourself, you got to feed your baby. Maybe you have other children around, and how do you feed them if you can't go out and food? What feelings come up well up inside of you? Where do where do they come from? And and why do you feel that way? And what difference does it make? Why does it matter? Those are some of the questions that we're going to talk about today in a message that I am calling. What moves you to turn to your neighbor and ask them that question? What moves you? What moves you, if you're online, type it in the chat. What moves you? You said this is Palm Sunday. It's the day that we, as Christians, celebrate Jesus coming down the mountain into Jerusalem and there is a big celebration. The crowds, the followers of Jesus, are celebrating and praising Jesus, saying King Messiah, Hosanna, save now. It's a huge celebration. They're laying their garments down, they're laying their palm branches down, and three couple days later the same crowd is going to be chanting the exact opposite. Instead of chanting for his praises, they're going to be chanting for his execution. They're going to be saying kill him, crucify him. But thankfully that's not the end of the story. It's the reason we're here today. That couple days, three days later after his crucifixion, he rose again from the grave. He is alive today, and that is what we celebrate next week for Easter, and I hope again that you will be here and bring someone along with you to celebrate that. Well, we're going to look today at what Luke tells us about this palm Sunday event, this historical...

...event that happened in a not so insignificant city of Jerusalem in the Middle East there almost two thousand years ago. And so if you have your Bible. I encourage you to turn with me to Luke Chapter Nineteen, and if you don't have your Bible, that's okay. The words will be on the screen behind me and we would love to give you a free Bible before you leave today. Just stopped by that new here area in the lobby and we'll make sure you get home with a Free Bible, because we want you to want you to have one. And so this account that we're going to look at was written by a guy named Luke. He was a disciple of Jesus, the follower of Jesus, and he wrote down all of the things that he experienced with Jesus and he wrote this again about two thousand years ago, and in Luke Chapter Nineteen, this is what he says about this day. We're going to set the scene, he says. After telling this story, Jesus went on towards Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples, and as he came to the towns of Beth page and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent to disciples ahead. He said go into that village over there, he told them, and as you enter it you will see a young donkey tied there. That no one has ever ridden on, tie it and bring it here and if anyone asks why are you on tying that Colt, just say the Lord needs it. I love it. Go steal someone's donkey. So they went and found the Colt, just as Jesus had said, of course, because Jesus knows everything. And sure enough, as they were in tying at the owner asked them why are you in tying that Colt, and the disciples simply replied the reply the Lord needs it. And so they brought the Colt to Jesus and throw their garments over it for him to ride on. And as he rode along, the crowd spread out over their garments on the road ahead of him. And when he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all his followers began to shout and seeing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen, blessings on the king who comes in the name of the Lord, Peace in Heaven and glory in the highest heaven. But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, teacher, rebuked your followers for saying things like that. And he replied, if they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers. It's an amazing, magnificent scene. Jesus is fulfilling prophecy. Riding down on a donkey meant. Kings don't ride donkeys right, kings ride horses, and Jesus is doing what the Old Testament Prophet Zachariah prophesied. He's coming down on a donkey and the king, or the crowds, are treating him like a king. They're praising him, they're shouting, they're putting their garments down there, placing the palm branches down there, praising God. And of course the Pharisees, they did not like that very much, and I just of with Jesus response to them. He's just like look, it is time to sing, it is time to dance, it is time to praise. The king is here and if they don't do it, there's an animate objects, you see over there, that I created. They will, they will praise. It is time to praise God, to praise Jesus. And sometimes it's the beautiful, amazing, wonderful things that move us, isn't you're standing at the edge of a canyon looking out over miles and miles and it's something inside of your soul is stirred up. It's wow, this is awesome.

You're looking at a mountain range and you just see four miles and it's so majestic and it's so beautiful and you feel a something in your soul. Or maybe when you see a newborn baby for the first time or you get to hold one and you're just holding them in their arms and it's just like overcome with emotion, overcome with beauty, overcome with amazement. Or when your son or daughter succeed and they do something incredible. They learn how to walk, they learn how to talk, they they get a good grade on that test, they score a goal in their game, they do well in the something that they're participating in. There's something inside of us that just gets excited, that gets moved, that gets overwhelmed with emotion. HMM, maybe it's when your favorite sports team wins the championship for the first time in maybe hundreds of years, and it's a celebration, it's a party and it's like you can't even contain it. You'll climb up a light post because why not? Because that's how you celebrate, right at least you're do in Philadelphia. But then then we read this part of the story, and this is where we're going to spend our time today. As he came closer to Jerusalem, he saw the city ahead and he began to what. What do you do? You weep. How I wish today that you, of all people, would understand the way to peace, but now it is too late and peace is hidden from your eyes. Jesus says, before or long, your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close you in from every side. They will crush you into the ground and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you. And this is one of the awesome things about Jesus, is that he experienced life, like you and like me experience, but he knows what it's like to live this life and he knows what it's like to cry, to be overcome with emotion, to be moved to tears. Do you know the other time in the Bible where it says Jesus cried? The Apostle John Records for us, and John Chapter Eleven, Verse Thirty Five, the shortest verse in the Bible. Does anyone know that verse Jesus wept? What happened? Jesus's friend and one of his great friends, Lazarus, died and as a result, Jesus wept. Now this story is pretty incredible because, spoiler alert, Jesus Brings Back Lazarus from the dead. Okay, like that's going to happen. But to start the whole story, Jesus is called by Lazarus his sisters to come and to heal their brother. They said, Lazarus is sick, we need you. You're a miracle worker, you're a healer. We've seen you do this before. Come here, he'll our friend, he'll our brother, and do this thing in Jesus says not right now. Three days to couple days went by and Jesus finally comes to Lazarus and by the time he gets there it's too late. Lazarus has died and, as you can imagine, Lazarus his sisters are pretty upset at Jesus. Why didn't you get here faster? What was the delay for? And they're crying because their brother had died. And what did Jesus do? He...

...cried too, and it's a beautiful thing. About Jesus because he knew he was going to raise him from the dead. You know, he didn't just laugh at the the sisters, he didn't just, you know, make fun of them and doubt their faith. Jesus didn't do that. He met them right where they were and he cried with them. And I believe that Jesus does the exact same thing for you and for me, that when we're overcome with emotion, when we're moved to tears, Jesus is crying right there with you. He knows what that's like. He is there with you in that moment. And then Jesus, of course, raises Lazarus from the dead and it's a celebrating time. But Jesus chose to experience this emotion of being moved to tears because he wanted to identify with them and with us. And so what makes you cry? Some people express all of their emotions with tears, happy, sad, and I'm probably one of those people. And it's a good thing and it's not a so good thing. It's just you feel something and it just comes out in tears. I remember one time I was sitting in my pastor's office years ago and a lady came in and she was really struggling with something and just bawling, just bawling, and we got her some tissues. We brought it over onto the couch and, you know, she's blowing her nose and wiping her eyes and and I'm sitting near her and I like have to like force myself or like fight myself to like get to the emotional place where she is. Like it's hard for me to like get to that level and I know like that's what Jesus did and I want to try and be like Jesus and follow Jesus and I think it's important and healthy when you're counseling somebody. If you ever want to come to me for counseling, you know, just learning you, but I try my best to get to that place, to meet the person where they are, but I'm immediately not that great at it. Thank you. Thank you. So so what makes you cry? Jesus cried when his friend died, when he saw the pain in the sorrow of his friends sisters. He cried about that and then we read that he cried again here in Luke, Chapter Nineteen, at this triumphal entry scene when he saw the people when he saw the city ahead. And I do like this because you just imagine coming down off of the mountain and you just see up ahead, up up on the hill, the beautiful city of Jerusalem. It's a magnificent it's amazing, it's incredible and it's a perfect, perfect view and Jesus is overcome in that moment with emotion and tears. And I think this is something important to press into real quick because isn't it people that get us the most emotional? Like, sure, you have a connection with your pet or a possession or an experience, but really it's people right, people that move us, people that stir our hearts. We feel for and because of our fellow man and woman, and we hear stories like...

...the families in Myan Mar that are dealing with such difficulty and tragedy and it just stirs our hearts. We empathize with their situation and we just wonder, like, what if that was me? What if why I was in that situation? Could I imagine having a baby at home with no medical care? Can't even go to the doctor, I can't even go out to buy food? We just feel for them. And so what makes you cry and what people move you. And maybe maybe it's not necessarily the stories about families and Mayan Mar that move your your heart. You like, where is Mayan Mar Right? Maybe for you it's more local. Maybe you've heard the stories in the news lately or over the years about just tragic stuff that has happened and it's like something inside of our hearts. It's just like moved and stirred and wow, you know, maybe your think of the young Amish girl that not so long ago was abducted and presumably murdered. It's like that's that's right here, that's that's in our town, that's in our county, and and you just feel for the family, you feel for those in the community. We you feel for just the whole situation. Is just something inside of us that is moved with compassion, with empathy, with sympathy. But the other day I was sitting across the table from somebody and he was sharing with me something that happened in lit it's like thirty years ago, and my heart is just like coming out of my che US, like I can't believe that happened in our backyard. What they did to that girl just, Oh my like it hurts or maybe maybe you feel for the homeless man or woman that you see when you get off the exit ramp or as you enter into the shopping center and you see them standing there. Maybe you feel for the people doing drugs in the park or on the street, for the people so lonely they're drinking themselves to sleep every night. You feel for people out of a job fighting a sickness or an illness, cancer, covid you feel for students and kids that are just trying to make a sense of this crazy world that we live in. What people move you? All of these stories we just talked about have such personal connection, such touch points, such stirring in our souls. They cause these feelings to come about. But back to Jesus triumphantry, because everything for Jesus seem great right. It's the triumphalentry for a reason. Everyone shouting those praises, everybody is glorifying him, everybody is worshiping him, everybody is praising him and they're cheering for him, but Jesus is crying. That doesn't seem MMM right. Why cry in a moment like that? Well, it's because Jesus saw something that nobody else saw. Jesus knew that the city was going to be destroyed. He knew that all of his efforts to avert the tragedy had been repulsed and rejected. And Jesus knew that in some short forty years the entire city of Jerusalem was going to be leveled. Jesus saw that. This is exactly what Luke records. Jesus saw. He said, before long, your enemies, they'll build ramparts against your walls and the circle you and close you in from every side. They will crush you into the ground and your children with you, and your enemies will not leave a single stone in place. And as exactly as Jesus predicted or foretelled, it happened.

You're like, Kevin, can you show me where the proof is for that? Well, I can, but it's not where you might think it would be, like it's not in your Bible, which is really interesting because it is significant evidence to a very important point that all of the books that are in our Bible were written most likely before seventy a d because otherwise they would have included this incredibly historic of vent. And so just think about that. The reliability of our scriptures, of the people who wrote them and how close to the events they actually wrote it, and so it's not in our Bible. But of course other people wrote things during the first century, right, and there was a guy, a Jewish historian. His name was Josephus and he was Jewish, but he was also with the Romans and he wrote something called the wars of the Jews in the year seventy five a D and in his writing he talks about how one million, one point one million, people died at the hands of the Roman army coming into destroy Jerusalem. That's a lot of people. And then remember what Jesus said, that not one single stone would be left in place. Like, what's that all about? Well, here's not a Jesus follower, just a regular Jewish historian guy writing about what happened the destruction of Jerusalem. And this is what he writes. He says now, as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remain none to be objects of their fury, for they would not have spared any had they remain any other work to be done. Now this is written, you know, two thousand years ago, so some of the language is a little hard to understand. Basically what he's saying is there ain't no people left. Right. They've gotten rid of all of them, they've dealt with all of them, they destroyed all of them, they've cap taken captive all of them. There's no people. And so, because there's no people, well then, let's just put our fury towards the buildings, towards the stones, the objects. And then he says that the Caesar, who was titus, gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and the temple, but should leave as many as the tower standing, as we're in the greatest eminence. And then we'll skip a couple sentences there in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued. What he's saying is is nobody had a smartphone to take a picture, nobody was recording video of the destruction of this city, and so they were going to completely wipe it out so that it was totally unrecognizable. But in order to celebrate their victory and their strength and their power, they were going to leave some of the towers up so that when they brought you know their guests by and they said, Oh, look over there, this was a fortress to the big city of Jerusalem, and they're like, where's Jerusalem? It was there, trust me, it was there and they destroyed all of it. Now, imagine that happening in our time. Fast for forty years. The year is two thousand and sixty one, and somebody asked you, was there a city of Lancaster down the street, and you're like, there was, but you don't even recognize it anymore. Like try to comprehend the level of destruction that was coming to the city of Jerusalem. And that's what Jesus saw. That's what Jesus...

...knew as he was riding in, and so no wonder he cried right. And why did that have to happen? Will Jesus told us that they did not recognize it when God visited them. You know, they instead of receiving him, they killed him and the nation of as a whole, of the Jews. They do not receive their Messiah, they did not receive God and their savior. They didn't understand that Jesus was peace in the their midst, and now it was too late. It was hidden from their eyes. So here's the point, the main point. If you remember anything today, remember this that Jesus was moved. He saw the people, he had compassion for the people, he had empathy for the people, but he did not move. Jesus did not move from his greater purpose, his greater mission, his whole entire reason why he came to this earth to begin with. He knew the Cross was coming, he knew what he was going to experience in just a few short days. He knew it was all a part of the plan and he wasn't going to give that up. He wasn't going to let his emotions control him. And I think if there's a couple things that we can take away from this time in Jesus's life, it's this. It's when is the last time you've cried about something? Do you allow yourself to experience emotion or do you just stuff it in and hold it in and keep it in? Do you allow yourself to feel it? And then who do you feel for? Like? WHO COMES TO MIND? Is that a family member or friend, the Community member? Maybe it's a group of people or a you know, a label of people that are dealing with something or experiencing a certain situation who gets your gut moving? And then what do you know that they don't know? That causes your compassion, your feeling inside of you, because some of you, some of you, know stuff like, like you know that you can get through a divorce and you can actually get through to the other side and it is okay, God's with you every step of the way, like you know that. And some of you know what it's like to be homeless, but you know you can get through that. Some of you, some of you, know what it's like to lose a job or a position. You know what it's like to lose a loved one. You know what it's like to be through abuse and horrible situations. You know, you know how hard it is. You've cried those tears, you've felt those emotions, and so the question is, do you use those emotions to fuel your greater mission and purpose, or do you let your emotions take you off track control your life? Which would you do? Because I imagine if I was Jesus and I was riding down the city on the donkey and I saw what Jesus saw, I don't know what I would do. Like there would be something inside of me that was like I see that woman, I see that child, I see that Roman and soldier, I see that weapon, I...

...see that and there's something inside of me that's like Oh, like I can't just let this happen, I can't just go along with it, like I need to do something, I need to stop it, I need to fix it, I need to do it. But Jesus, he didn't abandon his greater mission, his bigger purpose, because of an emotion, because of a feeling. But I think we do a lot of the time, at least I do, maybe you do too. Like, let's just do some examples. What if you felt like you were unqualified to do something that God wanted you to do? You feel unqualified, and so what do you do as a result? How do you let those emotions, those feelings, control what you do, while you don't do anything right, I feel unqualified and therefore I can't do anything. Or how about when we're at our job and we feel like I don't want to do this anymore and we feel like this is not the job for me, and we feel like this is not my job, this is not making me happy, and so what do we do? We allow those feelings to make us go over here and find a new job, because we hope that at this new job we will just feel better, will be feel happy, we will feel satisfied and our feelings will be what we want them to be. And maybe a similar thing we do in relationships. We don't have the feelings that we want to feel and we feel like it should be better. We feel should we should be more happy, we feel we should be more satisfied, and so we what do we do? We go and find a new relationship because we're in search of a better feeling, a better, more happy feeling for life. But let's not do that, let's not let our feelings control us, let's not just chains and decide things based on our feelings, but let's do let them influence us or fuel our greater purpose, fuel our mission. And so if you feel unqualified to do something God wants you to do, don't allow that to control you where you don't do anything. Embrace that feeling of being unqualified and use it as fuel, as energy to rely even more on God, because, news flash, you're never going to feel qualified to do what God has called you to do. That's the secret. And so it just in that feeling you have to put more faith, more trust in God, and that's where the true power really comes from. You're not letting your feelings control you, you're letting them influenced you to accomplish the greater purpose, the greater mission. The same could be said about your job. You feel like it's not right. Okay, maybe you can allow that feeling, those emotions, to help you see your job in a different way. Maybe it will help you see your job and have a whole different meaning, a whole different purpose for your job. That's not even on your job description, which is crazy to think about. But you're allowing your feelings to influence and fuel your greater purpose, your greater mission. And sure, sometimes, sometimes, you do need a new job, like sometimes you do, but if you're just going to switch a job...

...and hope that that job makes you feel better, it's most likely not going to work out. We need to learn from our feelings, learn from our emotions and then use them, to learn from them to fuel the the new choice, the new place, the new decision where we can really lean into that the most. And the same could be said for our relationships, like let's just not find a new relationship in hope that will feel better. Let's learn from those emotions, let's feel those things, and then let's use them to work on the current relationship, to to help the current relationship be better, to work better for both of you. And in the case of dating, maybe you can learn something from a previous relationship and apply it into the next one. But if you just think that the new person, the new job, the new thing will give you all the feelings that you're hoping to feel, you most likely won't do that. And so we don't want to let our feelings control us, but we do want them to influence us. See, Jesus was moved. He was moved with compassion because he saw the city, he saw the people, he knew what was going to happen to them. But he did not move from his greater purpose, his greater mission. He experienced all of the deep emotions and stayed true to his mission and purpose of going to the cross. So, as we wrap up our time together today, how did Jesus allow his emotions to fuel his mission? How did he do it? It wasn't the first time that Jesus was moved with emotion, with compassion, when he saw the crowds of people. There was another time that was recorded by the disciple, the Apostle Matthew, and when he saw the crowds, I just can imagine, like Jesus came to this earth for them, to forgive them, to heal them, to help them have a relationship with God so that they could be borne into the family of God. Like Jesus came with them in mind. He saw them on the Cross as he was dying for them. He he knew them so intimately, so passionately, he loved them so, so much, as we sang about earlier, and so this is what Matthew says. When he saw the crowds, Jesus traveled all throughout the towns, in the villages, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the good news about the kingdom. He healed every kind of disease. He saw the crowns and he had what on them, compassion on them, because, why, they were confused and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd. And he said to his disciples, the harvest is great, but the workers are few, so pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest, asked him to send more workers into his field. So do you feel like Jesus felt when it comes to seeing people like who do you see in your mind and see? Do you see people this way, like Jesus saw them? Like these people that Jesus saw were in need of a great shepherd. When was the last time that you cried about somebody who was far from God? Maybe a family member, a friend, someone in the community, somebody that you met doesn't move you? When was the...

...last time that you connected with somebody on a personal level, with somebody going through a significant amount of pain or some hardship or some difficult situation like like? Can you connect with somebody at that level when they're dealing with that? And and do you take your faith seriously enough, or do you you another way of saying that, as do you take your knowledge, like what you know that someone far from God doesn't know? Do you take your faith serious enough to say, like, you you might be far from God, your sin separates you from God, but I know Jesus came to die for you because he loved you. He died in your place, he was buried, he rose again the third day so that you could have a right relationship with God forever. Is there something inside of you that believes that and that you see people in those terms, see people in that light, you're wondering what their relationship with God is, and maybe you're not wondering, maybe you know. Maybe that's why you're crying, maybe that's what moves you to tears. See, these are all things that Jesus experience when he saw the crowds, he saw the people in this way, and so we should do that too. So what does Jesus tell us we should do? Right, we feel these things, we feel the emotions, we see the people. What should we do? It's in red. Pray. We pray. Pray for what, for for workers, for you and for me, so that we can go and reap the harvest, to bring in the harvest. The harvest is the people, and so we want to pray that we would see people this way and that we would be involved in the mission that God has for us. We want to pray for people to rise up and do something about the mess of this world. We want to pray that we would go to people in situations that are hard and difficult and scary. We want to pray that we would really feel for them. Pray that the are what moves inside of us is really like for a love for them, for a love for people, a compassion for people, and that we want to pray that God would rise us up, raise us up to do something about it, to connect with a neighbor and a friend and really love them and really embrace them, and pray that we would be able to see our community, see the needs of our community, meet the needs of people in our community and point people to Jesus. We need to pray that we can love people better, and really it comes from seeing people better. So let's pray for those things and, as we wrap up today, will do exactly that. God, we thank you that we can come and and learn and see about how much you love us. You saw us even when we were far from you, when the crowds were shouting for your crucifixion. God, you love them. You prayed for their forgiveness because they didn't know what they were doing. And, God, I pray that today that we would see and experience your love for us in a new way, in a in a fresh way, to experience your compassion for us in a new way, to know that you see everything about us, you know all of our good things and all of our bad...

...things. You know us at our best and you know us at our worst and you love us so perfectly no matter what. So, God, help us to feel that and then go and share that with the people that we love. Help us to love better, help us to care for those in need in our community, for the people that we kind of mentioned during our message today, the people that come to our mind that just need you, Jesus, help us to love them, help us to feel for them, help us to show compassion to them, help us to empathize with them and show sympathy, to be concerned for them. Lord, may our emotions not control us, but may we use your example and may we be just charged up and fired up to go and share this love, share this compassion with every single person that we meet. And I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.

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